Whether I'm conducting an interview for an article, a therapy/counselling session, or a basic talk with anyone, I find it interesting that a single question can make a big difference. Often, the right questions can open up a lot of possibilities and opportunities.
An article finds a great direction. A client opens up. A relationship deepens and blossoms.
Friendships are formed. Arguments are avoided. Connections are made.
A few years ago, someone requested an interview with me. She started asking her list of questions and taking down what I had to say. Towards the end of her interview, I asked her for her own opinions on the issue. She paused before replying, "You know, out of the dozens of people that I interviewed for this piece, you're the first person who asked me what I had to say about this." She also said that she felt affirmed and special --- just because I cared enough to ask. She then opened up and shared her own thoughts and feelings.
Her response amazed me. It made me wonder about all those people who missed out on what this person had to say about the matter. Did they just forget to ask? Weren't they interested in what she had to say? Were they too busy to find out?
Well, I just hope that in my daily interactions with people, I will never be too forgetful, too disinterested, or too busy to ask questions --- and to listen closely to all the answers.