Ask what you want to know

Photo by Hadija Saidi on Unsplash

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Waiting for Zoom to spin up, I adjust my Airpods and sip some water. A team I work with reviews their sales opportunities each week as a group. Ten of us log on. None of us on video.

“I don’t quite know what it is about this deal, but something feels off.” Shares one executive.

“Do you have a pricing incentive in place?” Someone asks.

“Have you looped in legal?” Another adds.

“What about customer success? They always help move my deals forward.”

“No no, it’s none of that. I can’t put my finger on it.” The executive responds.

The manager steps in, “Bobby, what do you think?”

I take a breath, adjust my pods again, and slowly speak into the black screen, “Have you asked the customer what she thinks?”

This happens often in sales (and in life). We play a guessing game with ourselves, our team, our friends and family…

We try to guess what other people want, what they’re thinking, or what they might be facing.

We get awfully creative too. And while our ideas can be pretty good, we miss a big opportunity to connect. To get real, vulnerable, and authentic. To ask and to learn.

How often do you not ask what you really want to ask?

How often do you resist sharing how you really feel?

And for what? To keep things “moving along”…

Tension is funny. If you feel it, chances are the other person does too. You can save both yourselves trouble by cutting through it with a direct, honest question.

And when you’re that other person, don’t you want to know? If something is up, don’t you wish someone (anyone 🙏) would say something? Be that someone. Clear the air!

If our vulnerabilities represent weakness, it is sharing them, not hiding them, that creates strength.

This isn’t an opportunity to project or blame. This is an opportunity to share unconditionally, without fear, and with authenticity. Honesty elicits honesty. The same goes for transparency and candor.

This week, when thoughts hurry by whispering maybe it’s this or perhaps it’s that…

Take a breath. Settle your mind. Then consider what honesty looks like.

If you’re truly being honest, what might you share?

What might you ask?

Use straightforward, muddle-free, and direct communication.

Clear. That’s what honesty looks like.


Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.

Feeling extra intentional? Listen to the Student of Intention Podcast on Apple, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.



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