|   +91-9945533822

Powerful conversations

2 magic words to transform your conversations

As a coach, one of my core skills is to ask powerful questions to my clients - questions which challenge them, help them to think differently and to introspect
Asking the right questions is not just about curiosity or seeking information – it shows the other person that you are listening intently and are genuinely interested in the conversation
Today, I want to share a very short, yet powerful question which I often use in my coaching practice
This question is deceptively simple, yet profound
It holds the key to unlocking new perspectives, fostering creativity, and promoting continuous improvement in various aspects of life
When you feel that a conversation is over, this question can open up a whole new level of discussion
You want to know what that question is?

What else?
That’s it – 2 simple, yet potent words
What else is a powerful and versatile tool in various contexts – personal conversations, professional coaching, problem-solving, decision-making, collaborative endeavors, or individual reflection
It has the ability to encourage deeper thinking, expand creativity, and cultivate a mindset that thrives on endless possibilities
Why these 2 words can be so transformative:
Encourages exploration: What else prompts individuals to explore beyond their initial thoughts and responses. It encourages a deeper dive into possibilities and alternative perspectives
Expands our thinking and taps into creativity: What else pushes beyond the obvious and conventional, expanding the scope of consideration and opening the door to innovative solutions and ideas. This question stimulates creative thinking and invites individuals to tap into their imagination
Prevents premature conclusions: What else discourages premature closure on a particular idea or solution. It promotes a mindset of ongoing exploration and inquiry, preventing individuals from settling for the first option that comes to mind
Fosters collaboration: When used in a team meeting, What else encourages collaboration and the pooling of diverse ideas. It creates an inclusive environment where team members feel empowered to contribute additional thoughts and insights
Promotes continuous improvement: By consistently asking What else, individuals and teams embrace a mindset of continuous improvement. It reinforces the idea that there is always more to learn, discover, and refine in any given situation

Strengthens communication: What else encourages individuals to express themselves more fully. It ensures that all relevant information is shared, reducing the likelihood of miscommunication or misunderstandings
Supports Goal Setting: In the context of goal-setting, What else prompts individuals to consider additional aspirations or objectives. It encourages a more ambitious and comprehensive approach to personal and professional growth
Cultivates a growth mindset: The question What else aligns with the principles of a growth mindset, emphasizing a belief in continuous learning and development. It reinforces the idea that there is always more to explore, discover, and achieve
And finally....

Uncover the unsaid: Most importantly, when it appears that a conversation has come to an end, when you feel enough has been said, this question will push the boundary. In most cases, the responses you get from obvious questions are also obvious responses. But when you ask What else, you are more likely to hear something which was not so evident, something which the other person might have been hesitant or afraid to share
How to use:

Now that you know why this is such a powerful tool, you should also know how to use
Yes, there’s a proper way to ask this question, else its impact is lost
Firstly, this question should ideally come towards the end, when you are done with your standard line of questions

  • Secondly, every time you get a response to this question, you can repeat this question. So you can ask this a few times, and each time, you will uncover something more
  • Finally, you have to literally bite your and keep silent when you ask this question. You should not interrupt the chain of thought of the other person. The real impact is when you are completely silent and the other person is now thinking what else is out there
    Examples on using What else:
    When you are having a career discussion with a team member, once they have outlined what they want to achieve, you can simply prompt them: What else do you want to do? You will be surprised with the response in most cases
  • Similarly, if you are having a personal conversation with your child or spouse, this simple prompt can elicit a powerful response. What else do you want? What else are you not telling me?
  • When you are doing a root cause analysis of an issue, after every obvious reason has been explored, you should ask: What else could be the cause of this problem?
    When you are trying to find a solution to a problem, you can ask: What else are the options? What else have we not thought about?
    If you are in a team meeting and there are certain members who have not contributed to the discussion, you can invite them – What else are we missing?
  • And in many cases, you can just ask: What else? That in itself, can provoke a new chain of thought or uncover something below the surface. The important thing in all cases is to remain silent after asking

So go ahead and starting making this simple, yet powerful tool a part of your vocabulary and see how the quality of your conversations transform
Do share your experiences if and when you get a chance to use it


Leave a comment