• James Walton

The Most Important Followup Question

"And what else?"

Almost every good thing starts with curiosity. The ability to ask a question and genuinely listen to the answer is the gateway towards improvement. But the ability to listen to an answer and formulate a deeper question based on what you heard is even more valuable.

Working against your desire to draw others into genuine dialogue are several organizational forces:

In each situation, the follow-up question, "And what else?" is a key that will help unlock a deeper level of understanding.

Your team presents a report on the status of their project.

"And what else?"

Your interviewee describes how they responded to a challenge in their former job.

"And what else?"

Your direct is outlining two ideas that could help get them unstuck.

"And what else?"

The beauty of the question is that invites disclosure and collaboration.

Start asking, "and what else?" today.


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