Ask Why

The Most Important Question Ever

I was reminded about a key question on how to better connect with people a couple days ago and wanted to share it with you. It is always good to be reminded of things that can truly help you become successful when dealing with people! As you hopefully already know, people are mainly interested in only themselves and therefore, like to talk about themselves. A good conversationalist understands this and gets people to talk about themselves as a means of better connecting with them. There is, however, another type of question that you can ask people that will help you get to know them on a much deeper level rather than typical water cooler, basic conversational talk.

If you are meeting someone for the first time (or even know them on some level) and would like to find out more about them and get to know them better, there is a key question that you should ask them. For the most part, a conversation might take the form of if they live around the area or what kind of work they do. You might even talk to them about hobbies that they have, etc. Usually you will get a very general answer such as, I live over in _____ town, I work as a computer networker, or I like to play golf, etc. This is logical yes or no information. In order to really connect with someone, it doesn’t help to just know logical information about them. You will want to gain emotional information from them. What I mean by emotional information is information given by someone that has feelings or desires attached to it. How do you obtain emotional information from somebody that you just met or know on a very basic level? Very simple, ask the question: WHY?

Yes, it is that easy! When you as the question, “Why,” the individual will give you insight as to what kind of person they are. For example, let’s say you ask someone what kind of work they do. They answer that they are in computer networking. You could leave it at that and go on to ask another question, or you can dig a little deeper by asking why they chose computer networking as a profession. This will cause them to give you some additional insight into their personalities, likes, goals, dreams, etc. Do you see how this is more of an emotional answer that will help you to connect with them rather than the typical answers? If they say something like they got in that field because they already know computers and didn’t need to learn a lot, you can gain some insight about this person. If they said the same thing but they are working in computer networking for now to pay the bills but are really excited about another project that they have going on outside of work, you would get another perspective on the person and their ambition level. You got this insight all by just asking the question “WHY?” Keep in mind, this is just one example. I could give you hundreds more!

By asking people why they like or do something is a great way to learn more about the people that you are connecting with. This is how great friendships and business relationships can start. You have to be the person to ask the right questions to extract the information that will help to move the relationship further.

Don’t forget to grab my FREE 10 Day Blueprint series that will give you some other valuable success tips! 

To Your Success!

Ken Cloutier





How To Maintain Your Focus


Being successful at anything requires many attributes. Persistence, a positive attitude, people skills, and other various traits. Focus is one of the traits that will determine if your journey to success will end early or enable you to see it through. Many people lack focus. How many times have you or someone you know thought of a good idea and maybe even came up with strategies or steps to accomplish a goal and then a few weeks into the plan you stop? It sounded great when you were coming up with the plan, but lack of focus on what you were trying to accomplish caused you to stop doing what was ultimately going to help you accomplish your goals. 

Having focus allows you to continue on toward your goals despite all of the white noise and distractions that life has to offer. It will enable you to continue to do the daily habits and make the little daily decisions to help you get to where you want to be. Focus crushes fear, it undermines distraction and blasts through obstacles. Focus is a major key to success.

So how do you stay focused at the task at hand or your overall career or life goal? Well, there are several ways to help you stay focused. One way that I have found very useful in maintaining my focus has been to use goal cards. I had previously written a post about goal cards that you can read about for more details. Goal cards help you maintain focus by keeping your goals and actions in front of you on a daily basis. You can simply read the goal cards over and over as many times per day as you want. This keeps your mind on what you are trying to accomplish. A very simple yet effective technique!

 Another way to help you stay focused is to have a clear vision of why you are looking to achieve your goals. Put an emotional tie to those goals. Your why should be so strong that it hurts every day that you have not accomplished your goals. Knowing your why and having a clear vision of why you want to accomplish those goals will keep you taking action even when you do not feel like doing anything and would rather sit back, watch a movie and eat popcorn. Instead, you will hear the little voice in your head saying, “take action, go do what you know that you should do.”

Create a mastermind or goal group. Partner with other individuals who have similar goals or are looking to accomplish something similar to what you are striving to accomplish. The power here is that you will now be accountable to someone else other than yourself. If you goal buddy hits their goal and you don’t, then you have not been accountable to that person. Even if you don’t want to do it for yourself, you surely don’t want to let someone else down do you? This is powerful- try it.

Break your big goals into little ones. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The same is true with you big goals. Break them down into simple, easy to accomplish goals. Maybe your goal is to sell $300k in a fiscal year at your job. Instead of just having $300k on your goal card/board, break down what you would need to sell or do on a daily basis that will lead to the accomplishment of your overall goal. Keep it simple!

Finally, another way to help you maintain focus is to keep your goals to 1-3 at a time. Don’t spread yourself too thin or you will be all over the place trying to accomplish too many goals at one time. If you are chasing too many goals, most times you will be so overwhelmed that you won’t take any action at all. It is best to identify 1-3 goals that you can accomplish and then move on to the next one(s). 

In my 10 Day Blueprint, I have also identified other tips and principles that will help you to accomplish your goals and lead you to your journey to success.

Stay focused and achieve your dreams!

Ken Cloutier