- Follow up questions are key
- Making connections by furthering the conversation
- How to grow your professional relationships
- Finding commonalities
The following is a full transcript of a Facebook Live, where Susie is speaking extemporaneously – she is unscripted and unedited.
Hi friends. It is let’s see, Wednesday morning. Are all the days running together for you? Crazy, crazy time in this Coronavirus. But you know what, we’re here. We’re doing our next thing we are taking the next step. And so kudos to all of you. Thank you for joining me today. We’re going to have a really quick Facebook live today. I want to talk about better relationships in business and so I don’t know about you, but hi Jen. Good to see you. I don’t know about you, but business relationships are sometimes challenging, sometimes awkward. And right now with everything being on zoom, some of that time we had together in the office has gone. Now I’ve worked from home and on my own for a long time. And so it’s a little different, but I want to address what happens in business relationships and how what you can do to take them to the next level in a really simple way.
And what I call that is ask the follow-up question. So see if you can relate. One of the things that we tend to do, let’s say you’re at the office, we’ll take it in the office and then I’m going to take it to zoom because that’s kind of how all of our meetings are happening now anyway, is in a zoom room. But you’re at the office and you come in and you see your colleague, we’ll call her Mary and you say, Hey Mary, how was your weekend? Or hi Mary. And Mary goes, Hey, I’ll say, Jen, how you doing? Good. How was your weekend? Good. okay. And you walk on by and the questions stay way up here. And it’s just this momentary connection, especially if you are a leader. It’s really important to take the next ask the follow-up question to take the relationship to the next level.
And what do I mean by that? Most of us hate this chit-chatty stuff and we get kind of caught up in the moment of walking by each other and kind of the, how are you doing? I’m fine. And you could be dying inside. What you can do is you can pause and ask the follow-up question. So let’s go back. Hey Jen. Hey Mary, how you doing? Great. How come? How was your weekend? It was fun. Well, why? What did you do that was fun? If you ask the follow-up question, everything kind of slows down and you pause, and then Mary goes, cause I had a great time with my family. We had a big birthday celebration for my mother-in-law or we had, you know, whatever’s going on, I went skiing, you know, and you get that next level of connection and it’s really important to do that because that’s how we get to know each other.
That’s how we get to find out commonalities. That’s how people feel cared about. Now if I switch that to where we are with zoom, even now, it’s even so much more important to pause and ask that follow-up question. Everybody I’ve talked to is either meeting in zoom, Google Hangouts, there’s a couple other you know, platforms that people are doing things on. I know the house party app is really popular with my family, but we’re getting together virtually. And so not only are we missing the physical connection, we’re in this meeting mode, we’re in this go mode of, you know, things being stacked up and some of that downtime that we actually have in the office where we could connect or stop by somebody’s cubicle or pause a little bit longer in the lunch line or the water, you know, water fountain or you know what the old water cooler days they called it.
And we’re not asking those questions. And now I think it’s even more important. So on a zoom meeting, if you are a leader and you’re leading a team meeting, I would invite you to take a minute and go, okay folks, we’re going to just, you know, do a round Robin of how are you really doing? And you know, in a sentence or more, tell us something that has gone well for your day. Tell us something that has gone, you know, difficult in your day or challenging in your day. And a lot of people are really afraid of this whole feelings thing. You’re not asking people to dump their box and tell you everything about their day. But as a leader, you could say, let’s go back to maybe Jen and Mary being in a room in a zoom room. Hey Jen, how’s it going over there in Virginia?
And you know, and she goes, it’s good, or it’s busy, or my day was fine. Well, what was good about your day? You know how are you handling, you know, the technology, is it working well for you? Somebody the other day said, Oh, my technology’s a mess. And my, my first response was mine too. And I moved right on in with the conversation about the work stuff that was going on. I didn’t pause and go, gosh, that must be frustrating. Or, you know, what are you doing to fix your technology? Or how are you navigating that in your family? You know, with everybody online, anything you can do to ask the follow-up question to bring the relationship down, one more level will help you connect with your people. It will also, in this time where we’re all socially distancing, you know, I’m physically distancing and socially connecting on Insta, Instagram, Facebook, Facebook live like this, or in a zoom room.
It’s so important to pause and have that kind of lean-in moment of connection because, in the midst of all that’s happening, this uncertainty, this unsettledness is making us all a bit angsty. It’s making us all a little bit more anxious and we’re feeling the weight of the isolation. We’re in week four now and the government’s announced it might be longer for some people a week for some people a month. And that is just weighty and hard and there’s just kind of that Ugh. And so if we stop and say, you know, well, what was fun with your family? Or you know, somebody goes, man, I had a really tough day. Our first response is, yeah, me too. And we do want to connect and relate, but pause and say, well, why? What was hard? Is there anything I could help you with? Can I encourage you in any way?
Can I cheer you on in any way? Those kinds of questions are going to take your relationship to the next level. And a lot of times, especially in business relationships, we don’t take the time to ask the follow-up question. So pause, take the time to ask the follow-up question and see what kind of responses you get and, and see how your relationships grow and improve and change. And at the very least do it because the people that you ask will feel cared about. And as a leader in business, that’s what we want our team to feel cared about, connected that we actually want to know more about them than have they done the things on the list that we ask them to do. I think this is such an important part of being a leader and making our team more cohesive. People will be in a better spirit when they feel connected.
They’ll be more engaged, their workflow will go better, they’ll be more productive, all because you took the time to care. So ask the follow-up question for better business relationships. That’s my tip for today. If there’s things you want me to cover in this business relationship space, please pop them in the comments below or PM me if you want to keep them private, I’m happy to cover those things. We’re going to be talking about let’s see tomorrow a couple of family tips and on Friday we’ll go into our faith Friday, which we’ve been doing next week. We’re going to be changing things up a bit, so stay tuned for those announcements. Thanks for joining me, SEMA, and Steven and Karen and Jen and Mary, I’m so glad you were here. I really hope that this one tip with business relationships will help you.
If you have done the follow-up question, pop me a thumbs up in the comments below. If you’re going to use the follow-up questions, pop me two thumbs up in the comments below, and then I know to come back and check back with you and see how you’re doing. If you want to do it and share a story, always happy to hear that. Always love to hear how you guys are doing and to cheer you on. So here’s my final question for you, kind of that follow-up question. How can I cheer you on and support you in your business relationships? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a great day.