Some questions do the work of a bulldozer while others do the work of a fork. If you want to learn the most about someone, quickly, dispense with the forks–the “Who…?” “What…?” “Where…?” and “When…” questions. Instead, learn when to ask “Why…?”
Why did you make this decision? Why do you believe this to be true? Why are you so successful on sales calls? Why haven’t you met your targets this quarter? Why are you here?
“Why…?” questions get at the heart of people, their identity, their hopes and desires. Sure, these questions can lead to uncomfortable moments. But, like a bulldozer, “Why…?” questions can move a lot of dirt. They can reveal a lot of character, beliefs, and wisdom in a short amount of time.