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Ask More Follow-Up Questions!

Research by Harvard professor Allison Brooks has shown that follow-up questions are the ‘single most impactfulquestion category leading to greater respect, liking, and influence. When we ask follow-up questions, we show that we’re listening, we’re curious about what’s being shared, and that we’d like to keep the conversation going. Research has even shown that follow-up questions can increase your chances of getting a second date. (You’re welcome! 😉)

The great news is that follow-up questions are super simple to deploy. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • “Can you tell me more?” - This question is great for getting people to open up and share more details about what they’re talking about. We especially love this in coaching conversations. 

  • “What does X mean to you?” - This question can help you better understand someone’s perspective and where they’re coming from. This is especially useful in feedback or difficult conversations.

  • “What’s important to you about that?” - This question communicates that you’ve heard the emotion or energy in what someone has shared and gives them an opportunity to share more deeply and authentically. We love to use a question like this when someone is sharing a really strong opinion or stance as it will better surface what’s behind their position. 

No matter what question you chose, asking follow-up questions will ensure you have better conversations and, as a result, better connections. 

Do you have other favorite follow-up questions you like to use? Share them below!

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