WelKoMe Questions – Making the Most of Our Conversations

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“WelKoMe” Questions are Welcome Questions – Use this to remember how to pose polite and constructive questions:

  • W stands for Well-worded, well-put, well-said, well-formulated
  • K stands for Kind, Kindhearted, Kind predisposition
  • M stands for Meaningful, Mesmerizing (capturing one’s complete attention), and Melodious (pleasant-sounding).

Perhaps I’m wrong, but when I have failed innumerable times to kick off an interaction pleasantly, in a way that would lead to a positively impactful conversation, I become disappointed in myself. It was at a time like this when I realized that by rewording my questions and responses in a more constructive way might positively influence over 90% of conversations or interactions with my family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and strangers. It was only this realization that had brought me out of that state of questioning my emotional intelligence. It also led to my understanding of the WelKoMe Question structure. By starting nearly every conversation and sub-conversation with WelKoMe Questions, I certainly have begun to communicate more effectively.

WelKoMe Questions

I have had to intentionally ask myself certain questions to gauge the quality of my interactions, and the questions are; Do you see yourself having a better time talking to people? Do you see yourself being perceived as a better, smarter, and more relatable person? Do you see yourself gaining friends, allies, mentors, work, or romantic partners? Do you feel better about yourself and pass on this positivity over time to others that you encounter?

When I was done answering those questions, I realized this simple thing: I should start most conversations with WelKoMe Questions and also use more WelKoMe Questions when others initiate conversations with me, rather than throwing out unnecessary or counter-productive statements. Doing so makes you and whoever is on the other end of the conversation feel better. It makes you listen and learn more, which prevents you from saying and doing irrational things. It leads to having a more meaningful, useful, and positive interaction that will inevitably lead to other positive outcomes, everything from them helping you out financially, professionally, or even becoming your lifetime partner! The Butterfly Effect and the Compound Effect play a role in WelKoMe questions too!

Man and Woman Sitting on Chair in Front of Desk

To illustrate the power of this simple but potentially life-transforming idea, let’s consider several examples (maybe you’ll find them a little cheesy or corny, still, they serve to probe different specific situations).

  • Suppose you want a family member to move their car out of the driveway – instead of saying “Can you please move your car so that I can get out?”, you say;
    • “Hey, are you available to move your car in the next 15 minutes so that I can leave to buy groceries?”     
      • The person feels you take into account that they might be busy at the moment, and even if they are busy, they will now be more likely to do as you are requesting quickly and with the spirit of positive cooperation than if you simply said for them to please go do it. As a result, you take control of the conversation and steer it towards a more positive outcome. Also, Adding 3 words, “to buy groceries” makes it much more meaningful than simply getting out of the house, substantiating the argument to comply with the request, making the entire interaction more effective and avoiding potential tension with the person who may otherwise feel disinterested in allowing you to leave the house since they have something more pressing to do,
  • Suppose someone says, “You know, I believe we’re not alone in the universe” – instead of saying “You believe in aliens? You must have watched too many movies!”, you say;
    • “I’ve considered this possibility as well, but why do you think so?”            
      • Even if you don’t believe what they believe, this simple but well-constructed, thougtful and meaningful question may lead to an interesting conversation you might both learn from. Even if you both retain opposing views at the end, your manner of approach to the conversation already set a tone for the possibility of building a relationship with them, or strengthening a relationship, if one already exists.
  • Suppose someone says they don’t know why they have $1500 overdue on their X credit card – instead of saying “You know you can just check in the transaction history”, you say
    • “Is it that when you checked the transaction history, the codes were unclear?”
      • The person feels either understood or that you attempted to help them in a kind way, rather than feel insulted as though you assumed they didn’t know that the transaction history exists. They are likely to respond to the question in a positive way and through this initially meaningless discussion your relationship with that person can improve.
  • Suppose your teacher or parent says something you disagree with or want to comment on – instead of saying “It doesn’t work that way” or “That’s not fair” or “That’s not true” or “I think you might have made a mistake in the line above”, you reply withWelKoMe Questions like;
    • “Isn’t there something we’re missing here? Perhaps it should be X that Y?” or “Can you take into consideration that I have done X and Y? Maybe this will change your decision/opinion” or “Why do you believe this is the case?” or “When you do step X, why does Y become Z?”
      • The person is not offended and does not get defensive. The continuation of the conversation is smooth, effective, clear of unnecessary waste of time and negativity, and leads to positive emotions and positive outcomes for everyone.
  • Suppose someone asks you to stop doing something – instead of saying “Why?” or “You’re not the boss of me” or “Sorry” or “Alright, alright” or “But I want/need to!” or “I can’t stop doing X, sorry” or “Leave me alone” or “Mind your own business”, you reply with WelKoMe Questions like;
    • “Oh, why do you think I should stop X?” or “What is it that bothers you about X?”             
      • Of course, these responses aren’t appropriate every time someone wants you to stop doing something, and keep in mind these are just examples of how I might speak, not specific phrases or word combinations I’m suggesting you use. You see that once again, these simple questions are well-worded, kind and meaningful, and this again will lead to everyone feeling happier, learning more, and the entire conversation goes better in every possible way, especially if you keep up this attitude.

To recap – it isn’t hard to make your life a lot better. As social animals, we rely heavily on others for our wellbeing in every sense, and what we say plays a key role in whether we are successful in our interactions or if we, essentially, fail in them. Simply using WelKoMe Questions (Well-worded, Kind, and Meaningful questions) when initiating conversations or when others have initiated a conversation with you, will cause you to listen more, learn more, have better and more meaningful conversations. You and your words will be more Welcome to others if you use more WelKoMe Questions in your conversations, especially at their initiation. Let’s make this world a happier place, starting with ourselves and those in our social circle!

Enjoyed this article? Visit the 4P Academy Blog for more informative pieces on a variety of fascinating topics.

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