Michael Bungay Stanier

My favorite question, the Kickstart Question, is “What’s on your mind?” It works so well because it’s both open (it’s your choice, what should we talk about?) but it’s also got focus built right in (let’s talk about something important, something that’s worrying you or exciting you or consuming you.) It takes you quickly into a conversation that matters, rather than meandering through small talk or spinning your wheels on data that’s more distracting than it is useful.

There are variations on this, so pick the one you like the most: “Where should we start?” “What’s most useful for us to look at first?”

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