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Ask Better Questions and Get Better Results
Herbert M. Cannon
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As I meet people at my seminars, I am often tempted to ask the question. Why did you come to my seminar? Did you come to the seminar to have someone reinforce what you already believe to be true? Did you come to the seminar to find out why the ideas presented wouldn't work?

start quoteThe mind is a funny thing, no matter what question you ask yourself you will eventually get an answer.end quote
-- Herb Cannon

I can see it in their eyes and I can read their body language. As I stand there presenting a new way to solve a problem, a new process to implement or how incentive compensation can be an effective tool to dramatically improve profits - many attendees are sitting there intently focused on finding a reason these ideas would never work for them. Their objections come in a couple of different basic flavors.

1. They can find one exception to the concept I am presenting and they develop an attitude of "there is an exception to the rule so therefore the entire premise is invalid."

2. Or as they so eloquently sum up "They would never go for this at my firm."

I am astounded that they would attend a seminar with this mindset. It would seem to me that the very reason someone would attend a seminar is to learn new techniques, gain new insights and make new distinctions. Instead of focusing on the solutions presented, they focus on figuring out why it won't work.

The mind is a funny thing, no matter what question you ask yourself you will eventually get an answer. If the focus is on finding an exception or the reason something won't work - you will surely find the answer. If you focus on how you can make the ideas presented work for you and your companies benefit - you will also find an answer. Which focus do you think will produce the better results?

If you find yourself focusing on why something won't work I want to suggest that you try something different. Ask better questions. Ask yourself:

How can I put these ideas to work at my firm?

How will I personally benefit by implementing these ideas?

Even though I can see there may be some cases where this idea may not work - taken as a whole would our company be more profitable by implementing these ideas?

How can I show the owners (or my partners) exactly how much more profitable we will be when we implement this program?

How can I convince the other key players in my organization to give this a chance?

Do you get the idea? Ask yourself better questions and you will get better answers whether you are attending a seminar or facing the day to day challenges of managing a business.


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