Discover How To Ask Powerful Questions To Transform Your Social Life
Do you ask good questions? Do you know what to say to create engaging and dynamic conversations?
Join Dr. Aziz as he explores the power of questions. You’ll discover the two more impact kinds of questions you can ask – those you ask of yourself and those you ask of other people. The more you master questions, the more you can master your inner world and your social life.
Click below to hear this episode!
Ask Better Questions
Hello everybody. Welcome to today’s episode of the show. Today, I’m excited to be with you because we’re going to be getting into something that can be very valuable for your own inner confidence, for how you feel during the day as well as your ability to have great conversations with people, to engage with people, and connect with them, and feel more relaxed, more confident and being to know that you can talk to anyone as well as knowing how to make the conversation engaging and fun and leave with them really liking you and wanting to spend more time with you.
This is a super important topic and it is all about how to ask better questions. Because when you can ask better questions, well, you get better answers and the better answers that you get the better your life gets. So I’m really excited about this topic, I think it’s really going to help you out. And I’m also excited to be with you here in 2016, whoa. And I want to give you a quick heads up, we are currently a little bit, I’m not sure how many spaces are left but we’re filling the Supremely Confident Conversation Master weekend which is coming up in March of this year here, March 4th, 5th, and 6th, and so this is a perfect tie-in to what you’re learning from this episode and what you’re learning from this show and for me in general.
Take it to the Next Level
If you want to know how to take this to the next level I strongly suggest you go check that out. You can go to the socialconfidencecenter.com website, that’s socialconfidencecenter.com and there’s an events tab, so just click on the events tab at the top of the page and you can get all the details, you can register and join us for this event, it’s going to be awesome.
Let’s talk about questions and how to ask better questions. So the first thing to do, let’s talk about the inner questions because there’s inner questions and there’s outer questions. Let’s talk about the inner questions first and then we’ll get to the questions you can use in conversations. Inner questions are actually something that you’re asking yourself all the time. You’re doing this all the time and you may or may not even realize that you’re doing it. And questions are a powerful form of thinking, the way that our mind works. So we ask ourselves a question and then we come up with an answer and we ask ourselves another question and we come up with an answer. In fact, even as you’re listening to me right now part of you is thinking is that really true? Does this make sense? Is this guy full of shit? We’re asking ourselves those questions and then depending upon the answers that our mind gives us, we have different responses. So you say, “Oh, that does make sense,” “Okay, that’s true,” or “You know, that guy’s full of it, I don’t believe it,” and we have a sense of resistance. So our inner responses to those questions determines what we focus on, how we feel, in a lot of ways what life even seems, what seems possible to us, how good or bad our life seems, so the power of the questions that we ask ourselves is endless and it’s something that we often are doing unconsciously. And when you’re feeling bad, when you’re feeling nervous, or anxious in a situation or you’re worried about going and talking to someone or you’re terrified of that presentation that you have coming up, it might be great to just pause and check in, ask yourself, “What questions am I asking myself right now?” You just might find that there are some pretty low-quality questions that you’re asking yourself such as, “What could go wrong?” “How am I going to mess this up?” “Why do I always feel this way?” Or my personal favorite, “What’s wrong with me?” “I’m feeling so nervous, what’s wrong with me.” We asks ourselves these questions and then you ask yourself what’s wrong with me and what kind of answer are you going to get? Well, you’re lame, you’re broken, you’re weird, you’re ugly, you’re too messed up, you’re too sensitive, you’re too this, you’re not enough of that and your mind will give you an answer to that question.
Whatever you ask yourself you’re going to get answers to and you want to check what your default questions are because most of the time our default questions lead us down this negative victim path where there’s nothing we can do about it and there’s just something terribly wrong with us and life’s not fair and nothing’s going to work out, these are the questions that we ask ourselves.
The first thing you want to do is you want to start bringing your awareness to the questions that you ask yourself, then you want to start to see if there’s a way to ask better questions, questions that are going to guide your mind in a more effective, more powerful way. So instead of saying, “What’s wrong with me?” or “Why does this always happen to me?” or “What could go wrong?” or “What if I messed this up?” what if, that’s another huge one that we ask ourselves all the time, what if, blank and in the blank insert any terrible scenario that you can think of, any worst case, awful, life threatening, job threatening, family threatening, health threatening situation you can think of, we insert it and then we spook ourselves, “Well, what if I get pancreatic cancer?” “What if I fail the presentation and get fired?” “What if I never find another customer or client again, my business will go under.” Right, so we can just really tweak ourselves out with these questions. So we’re going to ask better questions.
Now, what is a better question that you can ask yourself? Like think of a situation right now in your life that you’re feeling nervous about or anxious about or maybe some angst or tension about, what is a better question that you can ask yourself about that situation. In fact, we’re going to take a quick break and I want you to think about that during the break and I’m going to give you a hint, start with how. Start with how. So we’re going to take a quick break, we’ll get back right after this. Think about what’s a better question I can ask myself about this situation. We’ll be right back.
Hey, it’s Dr. Aziz. And I want to take a quick second to invite you to my upcoming live event. It’s called Supremely Confident Conversation Master. And this is going to be an awesome experience, we’re going to get together for three days in Portland, Oregon and we’re going to dive deep on exactly this topic. So if you get stuck in conversations, if you don’t know what to say, or how to start them or how to keep them going, or what questions to ask, you freeze up, you stall out, people don’t seem that interested in what you’re saying, or you can start it but then going in deeper, you find this urge to escape, this urge to eject, and it’s hard to share yourself and create those real deep connections, whether it’s for dating relationships, friendships, your business and career, anything that’s getting in the way of you being a supremely confident conversation master. That’s what this weekend is design to help you dive into and do. So you’re going to discover exactly how to start conversations with anyone in a completely relaxed, casual way, and then how to be engaging, funny, dynamic and highly charismatic with others. You’re going to learn how to stay in conversations, deep in them, and share about yourself so you can easily connect with others. And ultimately how to access powerful authenticity which allows you to influence others, impact them, and inspire them, draw them to you, become a magnet to other people by being your most authentic self.
This weekend is going to be powerful like all my live weekends, we work a lot on strategy, you’re going to learn a ton and we remove all the inner blocks, we go deep and take anything that’s getting in the way at stopping you. So I would love to spend the weekend with you. It’s going to be a limited size and tickets are going to sell out, I’m sure. We’re doing an early bird right now, so if you go to the website which is socialconfidencecenter.com and then click on the events tab, you’ll be able to learn all about it, find out the details, it’s going to be March 4th through 6th in 2016 here, so March 4th through 6th, that’s a Friday through a Sunday. So go to the website, socialconfidencecenter.com, click on the events tab, get all the info and secure your spot now and I would love to spend three days helping you become a supreme confident conversation master.
What did you come up with? What’s a better question you could ask yourself? What came to your mind? Did you learn something? Did you realize something? Did you discover something? Did you forget about coming up with a question and are just waiting for me to tell you some, which is okay, that’s fine, we can play at different levels of engagement. We can play at the passive, “I’m going to take in some information,” entertainment level of engagement and that’s going to get you one quality result. Or we can play at the hundred percent full responsibility, “This is not about Aziz. This is not about just taking in just passive information. This is about me transforming my life level of playing.” And when you play at the level, things transform. You no longer see yourself as permanently stuck as anything because you know that when you apply yourself, when you step up and really engage you can learn, you can grow, you can transform. So, what level are you playing at?
Help, hopefully, you came up with a question and whatever level we’re playing at, I love you, you’re awesome. So let’s come up with some better questions, here are some questions that I found really useful, really valuable for me when I’m facing challenges or situations that I’m scared or nervous about and how I deal with those. So, how, remember I said start with how, those are great. “How can I do this?” “I can’t do this. What if I can’t do this? What if that happens?” “What if I make a mess of the presentation?” So switch it into how can I insert what you want. “How can I crush it at the presentation?” “How can I increase my sales?” “How can I find someone to date?” “How can I ask a woman out?” “How can I find a new job?” “How can I get better at interviews?” “How can I earn more money?” Just insert whatever it is that you want, “How can I?” and then just ask that question again and again and again and again. And the first time you ask it your mind is going to say, “There’s no way. It can’t happen,” and that’s okay. That’s just your safety police, that’s just the desire to stay in your comfort zone and you just got to lean into that and say, “Great. That’s a first answer,” let’s ask it again, “How can I crush it at this presentation?” maybe you’d get another, “No. It’s never going to happen. You’re just going to be terrible.” Okay, that’s another answer, let’s keep brainstorming here, “How can I just crush it at the presentation? How can I feel more relaxed and confident at the presentation? How can I share the presentation and have a great time at the presentation?” You start asking those questions and you wait for and you expect an answer from your mind and you’ll get some, “Well, maybe I could make some great slides to go with what I’m talking, oh that’s a good one.” “Maybe I could focus more on who I’m delivering to and them getting the information out from my own performance and how I’m being evaluated. Hmm, that’s another good one.” So you could generate these things by asking that question.
Now, the answers are valuable, somewhat important but even more important is asking the question because asking the question will change your whole orientation towards the problem, towards the challenge, and away from this sort of victim, “It’s just happening to me,” and “I have to feel this way” and into a place of I have power, I have influence, I have control. The way I show up and the way I use my mind will greatly determine my experience of this event. That’s what happens when you ask better questions. So how can I is a super powerful question.
You also can have questions that assume that it’s already going to go well. So, “how can I enjoy myself at this presentation?” That’s already assuming that it’s going to go well. “How can I enjoy even more love with this person here?” “How can I share even more with this person?” “How can I give even more to do this person?” “How can I enjoy myself even more at this party?” Right. What an interesting question. Ask yourself, “How can I,” so your mind is already focusing on the solution on doing, “How can I enjoy myself even more at this party?” Now, what is assumed in that question? That you’re going to enjoy yourself at the party. So this is powerful, it’s drive from NLP which focuses a lot on language and subtle hypnosis and we can use this shit on ourselves, it works. It works on your subconscious mind.
You want to ask yourself those questions and when you do that repeatedly you’ll start to find new answers. And that can just turn the entire quality of your life into a different direction. And this is not only valuable for how you’re going to ask questions to yourself to change the way you feel about events and approach events with more confidence, you can also use questions to create much better interactions with people, much better conversations, and ultimately having a much richer social life, dating life, business life because everything comes down to conversations and questions are a huge part of conversations.
I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, I talk about this in The Confidence Code as well that when we speak in a conversation there’s only two things that can come out of our mouth. So either we’re listening and there’s a whole skill to listening, it’s not just being quiet and waiting for your turn to talk but when we’re speaking there’s two things that we do, that’s it. One, is we ask questions and two is we make statements and there’s a ton of different kind of statements we can make, and maybe we’ll get into that in a future episode, but today I want to focus on questions. So the quality of questions you can ask people will determine a ton about the conversation, whether it’s an interesting conversation or a boring conversation, whether they want to keep talking to you and they want to stay there or they want to get away from you. Whether they leave feeling connected to you or not or whether they leave thinking who was that person, I want to spend more time with him, that all comes from the questions that you ask and the better the questions you can ask the better the conversation.
Let’s break it down here, what are some of the questions that you can ask someone in a conversation with them. In fact, let’s say it was your responsibility to keep the conversation going, to drive the conversation, you might not be familiar with that, you might not be comfortable with that yet but you can learn that and I can teach you how at the weekend, Supremely Confident Conversation Master or you can learn pieces of that from The Confidence Code but whatever it is you can learn how to do that and when you’re doing that, when you’re driving the conversation let’s say you wanted to ask someone some questions, what are the kinds of questions that you can ask? What are the kinds of things that you can ask the other person that you’re talking to? What could you ask them about?
Thinking about that right now because so often I hear people say, “I just don’t know what to say,” “I don’t know, I just, I don’t like small talk. I don’t like conversations. I don’t know what to say,” and we entrance ourselves, we hypnotize ourselves by saying again and again and again, “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say, I’m awkward in conversations. I don’t know what to say.” And when we do that we eliminate all the possibilities of actually being able to know what to say. And I postulate that you do know what to say, it’s in there you just don’t give yourself access to it or you haven’t worked out that muscle enough.
A funny story about how we hypnotize ourselves. My mom was in town recently, we had just our second son who’s a baby and she came in to town to help us out in the first weeks after he was born which if you’re a parent and you know we have two, a toddler and an infant and it was just a shit storm in the house and thank God my mom was here to help. And she made some delicious food and played with our toddler son, so it was really helpful to have her here. And my mom is an excellent cook, I mean, her food, I grew up on it, I love it, she makes my favorite meals and I’m in heaven when she’s cooking for us.
But one thing that she’s not good at is making rice like standard brown rice. And the funny thing is she’ll make this intricate meals like Greek meatballs, we have like 50 recipes or 50 ingredients in your recipe and chopping this really fine and the kind of shit that would just… I’d be a mess at, but she nails it. And yet when it comes to making rice which is just like cooking some rice in a pot with some water, she’ll be like, “I don’t know how to make rice. My rice is no good. I’m not good at making rice,” then she’ll say that again and again and again and I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “Mom, do you measure the quantity of water that you put in as a ratio to the rice like one part rice two parts water?” she’s like, “Oh, I don’t measure it.” And then she’ll be like, “Candice,” is my wife’s name, “Your rice is so good. My rice is so bad,” and she just says it again and again and again and her belief is so strong that she doesn’t just notice… she doesn’t ask herself this question, “How can I cook rice better?” Now, I don’t know why because she cooks a million things better than that, but for whatever it is, when we get locked into our mind, “I can’t do this. I’m no good at making rice. I’m not good at talking to people. I don’t know what to say,” then we don’t find solutions, we’re stuck. And I believe the reason we say I don’t know what to say is because some part of us AKA your safety police and if you don’t know what the safety police is, stick with me, I’ll share more about it, we got the Confidence Unleashed, I talk a ton about it in there and I’m actually working on a new book it’s going to come out later in 2016 here called the Art of Extraordinary Confidence and I go way in detail into the safety police. But basically that’s the part of you, the voices in your head that steer you away from doing anything bold, courageous, anything outside of your comfort zone whatsoever and directs you like a bullet right towards the center of your comfort zone where it’s as safe as possible. And there’s a ton of ways our safety police gets us. But I think our safety police says, “I don’t know how to do conversations,” because secretly it’s hoping that you’ll just give up on the whole thing and avoid him and avoid people and stay safe and not get in there and not have conversation.
What is it that you could ask someone in a conversation? What could you ask them? What kinds of questions could you ask? Come up with them now because if I tell you then you’ll get something out of it but you’ll kind of forget it in like a day or two, but the things that you generate in your mind right now are going to stay with you forever and they’re going to transform your life.
Think on that right now, we’re going to take a quick break and when we get back we’re going to dive in to how to create amazing questions that generate engaging conversations. So come up with some questions right now in your mind, the kinds of things that you could ask someone and we’ll be right back right after this.
What did you come up with? I know. What an active episode, I’m asking you to do all this stuff. “Dude, I’m just trying to listen to something as I drive to work, don’t make me do stuff.” That’s okay. You don’t have to do anything. It’s whatever, it works. I mean, even listening is going to be helpful. Obviously if you came up with some stuff it’s going to be even more helpful and ultimately this is about transforming your life, so I’m just trying to be as helpful as possible.
What did you come up with? You know there’s different topics that we can ask someone about. We can ask someone about their opinion on something, “What did you think about this?” “Do you like this or do you like that?” I mean you can ask someone their opinion on stuff all day long. There are a hundred of things that you can ask their opinion about. And you can also ask someone about their hobbies or their interests. If they seem like a sports fan you could ask them about the sports or the teams that their into and you might say, “Well, I don’t know enough about something,” you don’t have to know anything about the topic to ask questions about it, in fact, if you know nothing about the topic then that can lead to some of the most fascinating questions because then you’re drilling down, you’re asking questions. I mean, I love doing this with sports because I’m not big of a sports fan. You know I’ll watch like the Super Bowl and be generally aware of what’s happening with at least football, but certainly not baseball, good God, eww, and somewhat soccer, but I’m not a big sports fan. I don’t really watch games much. But you throw me in a room with like three people that are talking about sports and I will just steer the conversation towards something that I find fascinating. So I’ll ask them some super basic questions, “All right. Who is the best quarterback in the NFL right now?” Now, I don’t know shit. If you ask me to list some quarterbacks I probably couldn’t even tell you one right now. I don’t know, what’s his… Steve Young from the 90s, I don’t even know, man. Who’s that Patriots guy, Brady, right? He’s pretty good. Anyway, it’s absurd how little I know and yet I say who’s the best quarterback right now and now you got this heated discussion going, well, this guy and so and so and then I just start asking questions I’m interested in, “You know it fascinates me how a quarterback can nail a player who’s running at a certain pace and they can lead them in just the right way,” so I’m going to start asking questions about how do they know how far to lead it, how do they know the pace? Have they memorized all the plays in their heads? Do these players actually have like 200 plays chewed up in their brain? Or are they memorizing them a week before? Are the plays selected? I mean, I can just… my brain is just spitting out questions and that’s about something that I know nothing about. So if you know nothing about something you might actually be able to generate even more questions. So you could ask them about sports.
The same could be for their hobby, for their interest, they say they’re into Warhammer. Now if you don’t know what that is, take a trip down to the nerd store. You know that place that sells like those nerdy board games not like monopoly but like the hardcore board games and maybe it has Dungeon in the title or something like that. And Warhammer is like something… I don’t even know what it is like they have these figurines and they fight with dice and stuff. But anyway, someone mentions Warhammer, I would ask them like 30,000 questions about Warhammer, how does it work, what’s going on, so you can ask them questions about something that you know nothing about, just reveal that you know nothing about it. You’re not supposed to know that stuff, that stuff is just in your own head that you tell yourself, you’re supposed to know it, just let it go and just be curious and people love curiosity.
You can also ask them questions about their family. If they have kids, good God, ask them questions about their kids, they will talk your ear off, they’re happy to do it. As a parent I can tell you, just say, ”So, what does your toddler son doing these days?” And I’ll be like, “Well, I’m going to tell you 34 things even though you only ask about one,” all right, so people love talking about their kids. These are just some of the topics. And they key here is to let go of the story I don’t know what to say, you have tons to say, you have all the questions in the world, you just got to start thinking about them. And you might be wondering, “Yes, but how do I know what question to ask? What do I say next? I mean, they mention something I just don’t know what to say next.” To know what question to ask next you got to be really present. Pay attention to what they say. They mention a certain word or a certain phrase, they mention football, “Oh, yeah, I watched the game on Sunday,” “Oh, yeah, I went and played Warhammer on Saturday,” nerd. Then you notice what they say, you catch it or they mention, oh, yeah, I took my son to such and such, or I have a little kid, or I’m tired because I have a toddler, whatever, you hear the thing they say and then you ask them question about that. And that requires presence and you paying attention to them and what they’re saying.
Just another reason why they’re going to love talking with you because not only are you asking them great questions but they feel that present. And again if you want to get way better at this, way deeper at this, come hang out with me for a weekend at The Supremely Confident Conversation Master or get yourself a confidence of the copy… get yourself a copy of The Confidence Code because there’s a ton about this that you can master. So, before we end today though, we have to master one other thing which is action.
Your action step for today is to generate some of those questions. Generate questions. You can do it in a vacuum, just sit there with a pad and a paper and just brainstorm some questions or you can think about a specific situation, a specific topic, a conversation you just had recently, a conversation you’re going to have tomorrow, whatever it is just sit and give it some attention, give it some focus, clear out the bullshit story that says “I don’t know what to say, I’m not good at this” and just start working on it. Think of stuff, generate stuff, get that part of your brain moving and working and as you do the more powerful it will become. The more it will just give you questions to where you can just be unconsciously competent, you can just do it without even thinking about it. So go ahead and generate that list now and I can’t wait to speak with you more about this and anything else go to shrinkfortheshyguy.com, shrinkfortheshyguy.com. Send me a message there. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to speak with you. And until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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