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Better questions: get them to tell you what they don’t want to

Here’s a great way to get people to tell you what they don’t want to.

Adam Grant’s reference-checking questions for recruitment

give them forced choices between two undesirable qualities… I’m curious about whether this candidate is more likely to be… Too assertive or not assertive enough? … Overly detail-oriented or not detail-oriented enough?…

Chances are if you’re trying to work out what a client or stakeholder really wants, then this binary choice idea can work for you:

  • is this about retention or sales?
  • is this something you think is a great idea or something your boss thinks is a great idea?
  • is this a long-term or short-term priority?

Here’s another one: label what you hear or see, and they will give you more information.

By the by, here’s four steps to gaining the upper hand in negotiation: specifically go to step three and pay attention to calibrated questions.

Let me know how you use this!

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