If you want to learn how to listen better, here’s a game for your next meeting:
- Make a list of participants on a discrete sheet of paper
- Next to each person’s name, keep a tally of the number of times they ask questions in the meeting
- Circle the tally mark when they use an open-ended question. Put an asterisk next to the tally marks when they use a feeling-finding question.
- Write down any question that helpfully changed the course of the conversation.
Once you’ve done this for a few meetings, noticing the helpful and unhelpful questioning strategies in the room, feel free to add your own initials. Notice your own questioning habits and how they affect the room.
You don’t have to change anything to play this game. Just notice. Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing patterns you had ignored for years.
You can use today’s already-busy meeting schedule to start learning how to ask better questions. And learning always starts with noticing.