Yesterday I started the story out of the book of Daniel and how it relates to dealing with difficult people. I started writing the article, but it was so rich with tips on how to deal with a difficult situation at work, that it got really long. So instead of turning it into a blog entry, it turned into a full-feature article (click here to view).

The situation turned dire in this story, as Daniel and all his friends were about to be executed. But things started to turn around as soon as Daniel started asking questions.

What is the importance of this? Everything!

Questions – The Doorway To Answers

“Asking questions” is the secret weapon in any persuasion situation as it was in the story of Daniel. He didn’t begin to get out of trouble until he started asking questions. Not just any question, and not to just any particular person. He asked leading questions to a person in authority that had the power to make a decision.

In essence, it was a sales situation. And as any successful salesperson will tell you, if you want to persuade someone, you have to ask questions.

Why are questions so powerful? Here are a few reasons I’ve come up with. Go ahead and add your own reasons in the comments section. I’d love to read them.

1. When you ask quality questions of another person, it is like their receiving a gift. They want to show off their wisdom, and when you ask a question it allows them to feel important. They will be grateful to you. This is why surveys are so powerful. Everyone has an opinion, and they want to express it and be important.

2. Giving a gift induces the law of reciprocity. It is the first tactic in the 10 laws of persuasion. When you give someone a gift, they feel compelled to give one back to you.

3. Questions are the doorway answers. You can’t find an answer to your situation (such as dealing with difficult people) until you start asking good questions. Not questions like “why is this happen to me?” You need to ask intelligent things like, “how can I rectify this situation?”

4. Unanswered questions are like a sliver of wood in you brain. They agitate it, causing pain. Unless your brain finds an answer to relieve that pain, it will get more agitated and irritable. We are inquisitive beings, and we “have to know.”

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  • Dewayne Chriswell

    All excellant framework for getting input and keeping difficult people too occupied to stir up as much difficulty.

    http://dewaynechriswell.com

  • http://www.childrenswealth.com Dale Bell

    Sales to me is all about asking questions especally leading questions so I can get my client to come around to my way of thinking the same as me about my product
    Dale

  • http://wwww.babysittingworld.com Lisa McLellan

    Asking questions sounds like a great strategy.

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services, Nanny Services, and Nanny agencies

  • http://www.shanekester.com Shane

    Well taken point. The story of Daniel is a great one to glean tips from.

    Shane
    Resources for the Independent Film Maker

  • http://www.yourchanceforromance.com Sonya Lenzo

    asking questions engages the other person…they dont feel as if they are being lectured. another greatpost.
    Sonya M Lenzo
    http://www.yourchanceforromance.com

  • http://quiltingcolorsandfun.com Peggy Larson

    I agree questions are the doorway to answers. So many people have the tendency to assume things and they end up with wrong answers or making decisions that don’t fit their needs/wants. Questions bring clarity.

    Peggy Larson
    Quilting – Colors and Fun

  • http://www.stopthesun.com/blog Trisha Chambers

    #4 there is soooooo true!! This is why I’m always full of questions!

  • http://successfulsalestools.com bryan

    Great point. As a person in sales I always know my most powerful tool is the good question.

  • http://www.aprilbraswell.com/christiandatingandrelationshipexpert.html Christian Dating Expert

    Hi Tim,

    Being asked questions is so powerful and effective in any persuasion situation for all the reasons you cite. Additionally, it allows me to customize my approach to them and their needs. Not my needs. lol. Also, adding your thought of it being a gift to them. Asking questions in a conversation cadence shows valuing to the other person. It sends the message of “I value you and your thoughts. I want to hear them” Yes, the surveys. However, I’m stressing in this point the one on one asking and listening. I hope that distinction was clear. Was it?

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Christian Dating Expert

  • Austin

    So, “Ask good questions that lead to answers in favor of all” is the thought? I’ve heard “You can’t please everyone” but is that silly?