01 - Empathy, great questions, and discomfort

An overview of the power discomfort brings

So as we talk about having empathy for the person that is giving the testimonial it's important also to remember to have empathy for yourself. A lot of times the testimonials that you'll be collecting the person will be having some emotions come up for them even if it's something that was a positive thing for them. Let's say for example someone lost a bunch of weight they may have had some pretty intense feelings about that weight loss throughout their journey. And so part of having empathy for the other person involves having empathy for yourself and understanding that you're hearing them talk about those emotions and those feelings might also make you react a certain way and just understand that that's OK. And that's going to happen in a lot of the challenge about getting these testimonials. Just learning to sit with yourself in that discomfort and just let it pass. It's fine. And what happens is the other person when you sit and you don't sit in judgment of the other person but you simply listen to what they have to say and you ask questions that engage them further. They really start to open up to you. One of the most powerful things that we can say in the English language is not “I love you”. It's “tell me more”. And when you say tell me more to someone that you're interviewing that you're getting this content from that you're eliciting this testimony from.

It's a very, very powerful thing. So I just want to leave you with that little insight that little piece of something to ponder with because it is something that's going to come up for you as you start getting challenged with that type of testimonials that you're asked to create and it's something that has been extremely powerful invaluable to me. So I'm glad that you have it now. And please let me know if it's something that benefits you in the future.

Empathy builds rapport... rapport allows for deeper connection. deeper connection results in more powerful questions. More powerful questions drive content that people love to consume.

So a lot of times when we're eliciting testimonials from someone we are going to be talking about their feelings and their emotions. Let's use the example of someone who has been dieting and they've been working out with a personal trainer and they're going to give this trainer a testimonial for the weight loss that they've just had? So one thing that we might ask them in a very straightforward question is they'll say that they lost all this weight they're in the best shape of their life. We might say How did that make you feel. It's a good question. It's a lot better than asking. Did you feel happy when you lost that weight? And the reason why. The first one is better than the second one is the second one is a closed-ended question. If we say did you feel happy when you lost that weight. They can either say yes or no. So the better option is to say how did you feel when you last saw that weight?

Now they may respond in a variety of different ways. Let's say that they respond in that they say that they were happy. The challenge now is what's a follow-up question for that. How do you ask a good follow up question for that? That doesn't say Well did you also feel this or did you also feel contented or did you also feel relieved and go down that path. So what I like to do is I like to say something along the lines of How did you deal with that. Was there anything in your life that changed as a result of that? Was there anything that you thought would be happy? That wasn't. Was there anything negative that came about as a result of this? Now, these are all yes-no questions but we're starting to get them to think in that process. And so any time that they then say something that for instance they say well you know my mother in law started you know trying to push more food on me or something of that nature. And you would then say well how do you deal with that you're looking for an opportunity to employ the question? How do you deal with that question? That's a great question. Super powerful but it needs to be set up. And that's exactly how you set it up. You kind of fish for something and when that hook gets taken you employ the well how do you deal with that?

And you just be quiet and you listen to what they have to say because I absolutely guarantee you that what they have to say is going to be gold in that particular context. A great way to keep that thread going. After they talk about how they deal with their mother in law trying to push food on them after they've lost this weight you asked this question you say is there anywhere else that that comes up for you. And then once again you be quiet and you listen because now they're trolling the recesses of their mind to see where else that comes up for them because I guarantee you that's coming up for them somewhere else. And now they're going to talk about that. And this is very valuable information not only for this person to talk about because chances are they've not talked about it before but also for the person who were gathering the testimonial for this is an authentic connection and it's super powerful that's why I want to share this with you? Another thing is that there's a question that people ask a lot that I want to steer you away from. So we tend to ask why. A lot. The challenge with asking why in a testimonial why do you think that is why this why that why allows us to get in to story? It allows us to get into conjecture for making something up and when we start fabricating from the perspective of making a best guess about something saying well why do you think that is or why?

Why did you do that? Well a lot of times that puts somebody on edge as well when we ask them why. A better way to do it is to say anything but why. And I'm going to show you how to do that. So if you say Why'd you do that. You might say you know how did you how did you come to that decision? That's the same question but because we're focusing on how we're focusing on the procedure of how they came to ask that to make the decision as opposed to the why which is a justification. Another great way to say is when else did you make that decision or when else did that once again. Why not? Did that come up for you? Right. Great. Another great example of this is who were you with when you made that decision? Right. This is this is great when somebody talks about the inciting incident in their life that for instance if they decided that this is the straw that breaks the camel's back they got on the scale one day they decided no more. I'm not going to live this way anymore. I'm going to get in shape. You could ask a great question to ask at that point is where were you where were you when you stepped on the scale? What were you doing? Right. Who were you with? Who was the first person that you told Right? Not.

Why did you do that? Right. But as you're asking for all questions that begin with anything but why is super powerful? And once you start thinking about it you'll just it just kind of click with you and you'll get the insight to start asking these questions in a way that really helps people go down a path that they've probably not been down before because people generally don't ask questions this way but it shows a level of interest that is novel to them and because it is  novel they provide really great really impactful answers.

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