A funny thing happens when I talk to people: I hear amazing stories. I’m not sure where this ability comes from, but I can trace it back to a young age when I would listen to my parents and sisters talk about what they were going through. This ability to listen is excellent, but I’ve also learned to listen within for the question I really want to ask. And that’s when the stories start pouring out. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I’ll share a few ways to listen and five questions I love to ask that draw out stories from anyone. By the end of this episode, you will have the tools necessary to hear unbelievable stories of love, loss, success, and failure. You’ll never know how it will impact your creative future.

Effective listening isn’t about you. Drawing out stories starts with shutting up and letting people talk.

While you are listening to others, listen for curiosity questions inside yourself.

Listen with your eyes, not just your ears.

Listen for what’s not being said.

Five questions that naturally draw out stories:

  1. 1. “What are you working on? What are you building? What are you making?”
  2. “What got you into doing what you do?” An alternate is, “Who inspired you to do what you do?”
  3. “What was the impact of your most successful project?” or “How were you affected by your biggest failure?”
  4. “What would you have done differently in the past, knowing what you know now?” (Note: I talked myself into a corner on this point…)
  5. “What does the future hold for you?” or “What do you want to accomplish next?”

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