The magic of asking meaningful questions
(The secret to connecting with others and making yourself memorable)
---" Yingying, if you are about to die, what is the thing that you want people to remember about you?"
---"That’s..a hard question. Well, they should remember me as a mission-driven cross-cultural leader that hasempowered numerous people, from all over the world, helping them to communicate, connect and build successful relationships in their life."
That was a question by a mentor of mine, many years ago. I still Remember and cherish the light from his eyes when I gave my answer.
This question, like a cue, stimulates me to dig deeper into my brain and triggers a special connection between me and the one who asks the question.
By answering it, I have to think, relate and recall my desires, personalities and those passionate life stories, in a split second. My happiest moments were sharing diverse culture experiences with teens in India and Turkey, coaching businessmen in Brazil, as well as being a communication bridge between China and the U.S. It’s like taking an exciting journey backwards while setting the hope for the future.
And Guess what? We (as human beings) actually love reacting to these kind of questions. It is a unique opportunity to summarize who we are and to know ourselves better.
At the same time, we may impress ourselves by the answers resulting in a feeling of joy and gratefulness. This is where the magic happens. We tend to build deeper connection with the one who ask meaningful questions from us.
Now, please quietly raise your hand, if you are like me, forget those thousands of people who have asked the question “how are you?” but remembered vividly the ones who asked questions like “what is your biggest passion in life?”
Please, use your fingers to tell me or your friends around, from 0 to 10, how good you are at asking meaningful questions? The average person is about a 4. Now I challenge you to think about how can you connect people and be memorable by using the power of asking meaningful questions. If you are fearful, try making a list of questions and ask one at first, I guarantee that you will be surprised by what happens next.