Want to easily, ethically and intelligently influence any human being – in any area of your life? Then get the 2 Lazy Jedi questions on the tip of your tongue.
These questions help you to find out what someone really thinks and feels – while inherently developing and deepening the relationship between you.
And one of the best things about them is that they work in text messages, emails, even on the phone, as well as in face-to-face interactions.
Here’s how some people have used them:
- At least one young man routinely uses them when dating – he finds they help him discover things about the girls he meets that even they didn’t know about themselves
- A business analyst claimed that the well-timed use of these questions in a workshop saved a €34.8m project from disaster, when he discovered that the two banks driving the project had differing understandings of a key requirement
- A mother used them to bring herself quickly and discreetly up to speed on her teenager’s new hobby – without revealing her ignorance of the subject
- A team of market researchers use them to discover what customers really think and feel about various products
- A computer consultant uses them to “qualify” companies who enquire about his product – to check whether they actually need it
- As a journalist, I use them with interviewees, to get them to reveal things they’ve never told anyone else!
They’re particularly useful in sales and persuasion situations, where it’s important to help your prospect figure out exactly what they want (and why they want it). And at the same time it’s important to build rapport with the prospect – people buy from people they like, after all.
The experts all agree that rapport – that sense of being on the same wavelength as another person – is vital to relationships.
And the 2 Lazy Jedi questions inherently build rapport because they use the person’s own words – “parrot phrasing” rather than paraphrasing.
By using their words, you not only show that you are really listening, and that you are interested in what they are saying, but you also give the impression that you are like to them.
And people like people who are like them – and they buy from people they like!
Parrot-phrasing has been proved to pay real cash dividends, by the way. A University of Nijmegen study found that a waitress increased her tips by 70 per cent simply by repeating the customer’s order back to them, rather than saying “okay” or “coming right up”!
What should you ask the 2 Lazy Jedi questions about?
The answer depends on many things, including the context of your conversation. You may need to discover something very specific – in which case, direct your questions specifically.
If you want to develop deep rapport with someone, ask about the things that are most important to them, and explore the beliefs and values which underpin their actions. You may well find that you share some of those beliefs and values. But even if not, once you know about them, you can treat them with respect.
And to have the most fun while using these questions, ask about the things the person likes and wants in their life, rather than about problems and challenges. And enjoy yourself!
What were the 2 Lazy Jedi questions again?
What kind of X (is that X)?
Is there anything else about X?
Where “X” represents one or more of the person’s own words
- The 2 Lazy Jedi questions are based on Clean Language, devised by David Grove. You can find out more in the book I co-authored, Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds