A friend told me this story recently.
A man goes to the doctor and complains that every time he touches his foot he feels excruciating pain.
The doctor writes down a note and asks if it hurts anywhere else.
The man then demonstrates and touches his shin, his thigh, his hip, and his head. With each touch he screams in pain.
The doctor continues examining the man and can’t diagnose the source of the pain. He refers the man off to a specialist.
A few weeks later the man returns to the doctor. The doctor eagerly asks if he found out what was wrong.
“Yes,” the man replies.
“He discovered my finger was broken.”
Do You Understand Effective Questions?
I’ve known many business people who look at their patients (aka their customers and their business) and can’t understand where they experience pain.
They don’t know how to ask the right questions.
Or, when they do ask questions they ask surface questions that don’t really dive into the problem that needs to be solved.
Or, they miss the little words that are not said. The things we hide in language so we don’t let the world know everything going on inside our head.
These little words will lead you into a rabbit hole of delight, if your customer knew how to tell you. Or you knew how to ask.
As Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
That’s because we can’t think beyond their current situation. We’re all stuck in a reality tunnel, as Robert Anton Wilson called it.
We have a limited view.
It’s a flaw of being human. It’s also beautifully designed.
And it’s rare when someone can connect on a deeper level.
Don’t just ask more questions.
Ask more effective questions.