Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tip Tuesdays: Ask Questions

-Maya Angelou

Last week's tip of educating yourself and forming an opinion was Conversation 101. 

Conversation 102 is to get yourself to ask questions. 

Ask questions

At my undergraduate commencement the speaker of the ceremony, Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, gave a long speech called "grace in a competitive world." I won't bore you with all the details but one thing that stuck with me was her interpretation of charisma. She said that charisma is the "the capacity to accept and celebrate other people... to like them for who they are." She then went on and explained that when she goes to events she enjoys herself most when she tries to find out as much as possible about the people she is around. She said that asking questions "allows the person to say, ‘That Carolyn Woo, she is really smart. And I just want to say, I didn’t say one word that was intelligent. I just asked a lot of questions, and in that process, I celebrated that person. " While she had not said anything about herself, the other people leave the conversation thinking about how she was bright because the process of asking questions left the other person with a great feeling.

Going along with Maya Angelou's quote that people will remember how you make them feel:

  • If you want to make an impression, don't talk about yourself. Seriously, no one cares. You bore the other person and they'll remember it. haha
  • If you want to make an impression, ask questions so that someone comes away from a conversation thinking about how good you made them feel and they have a good feeling about you. 
All in all, if you can get the other person talking about themselves and stay attentive, you're golden. Unless they ask about you, don't divulge too much because it looks like you're bragging and no one likes a bragger.

BUT if you're on the other side and someone is asking you tons of questions - keep it short. I'm working on this myself. I suffer from verbal diarrhea. I'm known in my family to be socially awkward because I get too into details about everything (as you can probably tell by my posts).

My verbal diarrhea leads to many people tuning out of my conversation MID-STORY and miss the pure EPICNESS of what I have to say. So, this my friends, is actually my favorite thing in the world. Why?  Because I'll stop my story, smile, and say "And then she died.

  1. It gains the person's attention really quick. 
  2. They feel like a total asshole because now that they're interested they can't ask you to repeat yourself.
  3. You can then totally judge that person and file them into the "just say hi and ask how are you" folder. 

Laugh. I mean they think they're going to make me feel like an idiot? I'll show you... And then she died.


P.S. if you are interested, Dr. Woo's speech from my commencement it can be found here :)


  1. What a wonderful post!:) I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I love the "and then she died" part...I'm the same way! I do that all the time!


    1. Thanks! It's seriously one of my favorite things to do! It's hilarious to watch their facial expressions! haha

      Thanks for visiting!


  2. Great post! Love the "and then she died" tip, too.

    -- Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

    1. Thank you!

      & Thanks for visiting, too! You have a great blog!


  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for checking out my page! Just saw that you are coming back to blogging! Great choice & love your outfit post!


  4. I like that quote!