Questions That Change Lives - How To Influence Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere | Catherine Mattiske

Jun 12 / Catherine Mattiske

In his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey talks about the difference between persuasion and influence. Persuasive people often use manipulation to get what they want, while people who influence use persuasion to get others to achieve what they want. The ability to influence is much more powerful than being able to persuade. When you can influence someone, you can change their life.

To unlock your Inner Genius, it is essential to learn how to connect with yourself and others, and by communicating in powerful ways, you can learn how to truly wield the power of your thoughts and ideas. With a growth mindset focused on learning and improving over time, you will be able to tap into your unique strengths and talents, maximize your potential, and have a real impact on the world around you. Then your communication mindset will be ready to kick in, whether you are working with individuals or groups, positioning yourself as an influencer will enable you to accomplish great things and truly make a difference in the lives of others. So if you're ready to unlock your Inner Genius and start flexing your communication muscles, then start today - learn, connect, communicate, and influence! 

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How to communicate with anyone, anytime, anywhere

In today's fast-paced world, it's more important than ever to be able to communicate with those around you. Whether you're trying to close a business deal or get your child to eat their vegetables, meet new people, get your teenager off their devices, or get to the root cause of a situation, being able to ask the right questions is essential. 

But what makes a question "high impact?" High-impact questions are ones that are thought-provoking, open-ended, and make the person you're speaking to feel valued. Asking high-impact questions can help you build relationships, generate new ideas, and get others to see things from your perspective. And, you’ll never get a “yes” or “no” answer to one!

Ready to start asking better questions? Keep reading to learn how to ask high-impact questions that will help you influence anyone, anytime, anywhere. You've got this.

How to Ask High-Impact Questions

1. Avoid Yes or No Questions

One of the quickest ways to kill a conversation is by asking a question that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Not only are these types of questions unengaging, but they also don't give you any information that you can use to further the conversation.

The next time you're tempted to ask a yes or no question, try rephrasing it as an open-ended question instead. For example, instead of asking "Do you like our new product?" say "What do you think of our new product?" You'll be surprised at how much more information you get—and how much more engaged the other person becomes—when you avoid yes or no questions.

2. Be Genuinely Curious

When you're genuinely curious about someone else, it shows—and people are drawn to that. If you're just asking questions for the sake of asking them, the other person will be able to tell and they'll likely tune out. But if you take a genuine interest in learning about the other person, they'll be more likely to reciprocate by being interested in what you have to say.

The next time you're having a conversation with someone, try to focus on being genuinely curious about them and what they have to say. Pay attention to their body language and listen carefully to their answers; this will give you clues about what topics they're most passionate about and where the conversation should go next. By showing that you're truly interested in hearing what they have to say, you'll be much more likely to influence them in return.

3. Ask "What If" Questions

Asking "what if" questions is a great way to get people thinking outside the box and coming up with creative solutions. These types of questions encourage others to think creatively and come up with ideas that they may not have otherwise considered.

The next time you're stuck on a problem, try asking a few "what if" questions aloud and see what kinds of answers your team comes up with. You may be surprised at how quickly everyone is able to come up with innovative solutions when they're given the freedom to think outside the box. And who knows—one of those solutions may end up being exactly what you were looking for all along.

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The 10 Best Questions to Ask if You Want To Influence Someone

When you find yourself in a conversation that seems to be drying up or getting stuck, it can be difficult to know how to get things flowing again. One effective strategy to move you into your Genius Zone is to use high-impact questions: powerful words and phrases that help you learn more about the other person, connect with them at a deeper level, and ultimately influence their thinking. Some examples of such questions include "how" and "why", which will encourage your conversation partner to provide further details and share deeper emotions.

Here's my top 10...

  • What are your goals?
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • What motivates you?
  • How do you make decisions?
  • What do you value most?
  • What do you worry about?
  • What do you think is your greatest strength?
  • What do you think is your greatest weakness?
  • How do you handle stress and adversity?
  • How do you want to be remembered?

Other useful words to sprinkle into your conversations include "exciting", "feasible", and "inspiring", which communicate your enthusiasm for the topic at hand and can help ignite fresh ideas. Whether you are networking, trying to make a sale, trying to connect with your kids, or simply looking for new ways to engage in meaningful discussion, asking high-impact questions is a great way to keep the conversation going. So, keep these tips in mind the next time you find yourself struggling with conversation - your conversations and meetings will never be dull again!

The Secret of Business Communication to Influence

When it comes to getting the most out of our professional relationships, there are few things more important than asking the right questions. By learning to ask high-impact questions, we can gain a better understanding of what matters most to the people we interact with, strengthen our connections with them, and learn how we can communicate more effectively with them in order to influence their decisions and actions.

Whether we are looking to learn more about a client's needs or connect with a colleague on a deeper level, the key is to be thoughtful and intentional about what questions we ask.

And by doing so, we can foster an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect – ultimately helping us achieve our goals in work and in life.


High-impact questions are essential for anyone who wants to communicate better with those around them. By avoiding yes or no questions, being genuinely curious about others, and asking "what if" questions, you'll be well on your way to becoming a master of high-impact questioning—and influencing anyone, anytime, anywhere. So if you want to tap into the full potential of your personal and professional relationships, start thinking about and asking the right questions today. You won't regret it!

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About Catherine

About Catherine mattiske

Catherine Mattiske, best known for creating ID9 Intelligent Design and the Genius Quotient (GQ), is a leading light in the corporate learning and team-building industries. She regularly works with large and small organizations to help team members better understand one another while effectively collaborating and boosting individual and team morale and productivity in the workplace.

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