As a Consultant, I often have to interview clients. I have learned from experience to do the following:
- Ask open-ended questions
- Ask strategic follow-up questions
- Build rapport
- Participate in active listening
- Be interested / friendly
Well…Yesterday was the first day of school for my first grader. I was excited to hear all about his day but he had few words. Ok…not a problem for a Consultant who has to obtain information from strangers frequently, right? WRONG! Turns out, these skills are useless when talking to my first grader.
Me: How was your day?
Me: Ok. What did you do in class?
Son: Um…I dunno…stuff.
Me: Well, like what?
Son: I can’t remember.
Me: Do you like your first grade teacher?
Son: I guess.
Much of the rest of the conversation continued at this pace…FAIL! The only time I received more than a 3 word answer was when he told me how happy he was to find the note I packed for him in his lunch. At least there’s that 🙂 My suggestion for anyone interested in improving their soft skills, practice by interviewing my son, ha!
The lunch note…WIN!