Using Emotional Intelligence to Help Someone Elaborate

The first two newsletters on Using Emotional Intelligence (available here and here) related to asking for a response to questions raised during discussion and following up with a request for clarification on the response.  

Today’s topic takes us to another side of the conversation. What about when you want them to elaborate?

As previously discussed, receiving information has a minimum of two facets:  What you hear and why it’s important to you. Even with careful listening, there will be times when you understand perfectly the words that came out of the other person’s mouth but still don’t have the information you need.  Help your co-worker open up with some of the following questions:

  • Can you tell me more?
  • What else would be important for me to know?
  • What other ideas/thoughts/feelings do you have about it?
  • Do you have an example that you can share?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how urgent/serious is X?
  • What is the hardest/most challenging part for you?
  • How can I support you in this?

The next time someone shares information with you, be curious and ask them to elaborate – on their idea, their request, or their solution.

Begin to create a sense of trust, respect, and importance by engaging the person in the other half of the conversation.  Elaboration provides a foundation on which both people can stand and build. Your interest in details important to the other person speaks volumes about your integrity, especially when you’re entrusted to do something with the information being communicated.

All parties having a crystal-clear understanding of the discussion and intended outcome is the best way to leave a conversation.  As you make this a habit, you may be surprised at how well your relationships grow! 

As I grow my knowledge in EQ and communication, I regularly see that not all leaders are great communicators.  Yet, all leaders certainly can become great communicators, particularly when they believe that communication includes giving, receiving, and understanding the words being shared. 

I’ve helped hundreds of leaders just like you lean into their emotional intelligence.  It requires stepping into the realm of uncomfortableness, and most of the leaders will say that it was not easy. It’s also not always immediately successful.  Yet, every one of them who tried a new and unique approach to bridging the communication gap realized a more trusting and respectful relationship.

Need an external source to help you become inquisitive and step into your own EQ?  Let’s chat.

P.S.  Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my 
Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!