The Power of the Third Question

by | Communication, Featured

Once THIS tool is implemented, it will grow your network, and make you magnetic. I call it the Third Question or Third Q for short.

One of the most effective tools we have to connect with people is questions. You can easily create a connection moment when you ask a provocative third question in the conversation. Shift your mindset from what YOU want to say to what you can LEARN about others.

Connection happens when you are genuinely interested in learning from another.

There are no uninteresting people, just disinterested listeners.

In my experience successfully networking, I found most people stop asking or engaging after the second question. First question – “Hi, I’m Sandy, what do you do?”, and the person responds and asks the same question back as the second question. There is an opening for a true connection moment in the next question, but only if it is a unique open-ended question.

The Third Q opens the heart to communicate authentically. People want to feel seen and heard. When you disrupt the typical office or networking banter with a unique question, it makes the listener think and feel and they can’t respond with a simple yes or no answer.

Third questions are engaging questions to see people’s passion, love, and enthusiasm for something. Not how long have you been working there, how was the weekend, or how was your day. Ask a third question like, what surprised you about your weekend? How did you discover your skills? What is the most enjoyable part of your work? What did you enjoy the most about the weekend?

You will know when you ask a Third Question when you see the listener excited to answer it.

When my marketing agency was being considered to work with the popular Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum brand, I used the Third Question communication tool to make us stand apart from the competition.

I was invited to meet with six Appleton Rum team members, in snow covered Whistler, BC, in the energetic Longhorn Saloon at the base of the mountain. It was here where I would either win or lose their business.

After a quick greeting and drink order, the VP, Marketing asked me his first question, “So why should we work with you Sandy?” I gave a confident and concise response using the four Emotional Magnets, “Working with us is easy with our systems and experience (SAFETY), we create industry leading brands (ACHIEVEMENT), as a small agency your investment is less than large agencies (VALUE) and we are a blast to work with (EXPERIENCE).

Find out your Emotional Magnets (your emotional motivators to listen and act) and Take the Short Emotional Magnets Quiz.

Now it was my turn to ask the second question, “So what does success look like for you for this project?” Ask anyone who knows me, this is one of my all time favourite questions – likely the Achievement Emotional Magnet in me. LOL.

Answering, he spat out all the measures of success but most important to him was the relationship and communication with the agency.

Bingo! It was time to deepen our connection with a Third Question.

I asked him, “To work well together, I need to ask, why are you passionate about your job and your rum?”

As usual with these questions, they typically surprise and delight people. That open ended provocative question ignited a 2.5 hour lively chat among the team (each member answered from their point of view) and I walked away with a new client and a booked personal tour of the Estate Distillery in Jamaica!

The Third Question is a remarkable tool that, when harnessed, can dramatically improve, and deepen our engagements.

This also works really well at home folks. A third question can change your relationships.

Simply change your typical “How was your day?” question to “What surprised you today?” and feel the difference in the connection and engagement in the conversation.

I will be sharing more about this awesome communication tool and others in my upcoming Magnetic Communication Bootcamp! Join the waiting list so you get notified when it registration opens.  After this two hour training, you’ll improve your communication at work, home and to yourself!

You may Also Like..

Why Emotional Magnets Will Change Your Life

Why Emotional Magnets Will Change Your Life

I stumbled upon the four Emotional Magnets on a dark night in Vancouver. Quite literally—I was sitting in front of my laptop in the late hours, searching frantically for something that would help me take my business to the next level. The Power of Emotional Appeal At...


I'm Sandy Gerber

Communications strategist, Chief Marketing Officer, Entrepreneur, Author, TEDx and Keynote Speaker. Sandy Gerber is the creator of the Emotional Magnetism™ Communication Technique.