Secrets of Successful Job Interviewing, Deeper Intimacy, Overcoming Shyness, and Other Interpersonal Goodies!
David, Helen and Fabrice discuss Inquiry, the third of the Five Secrets of Effective Communication. Inquiry means asking gentle, probing questions to learn more about what the other person is thinking and feeling. Although this technique sounds simple, it can be incredibly powerful and helpful.
David, Helen and Fabrice give many examples of how to use this techniques skillfully, as well as common errors to avoid. They also explain why and how this technique can sometimes be life-transforming, especially for individuals who feel shy and awkward in social situations.
Inquiry is an incredibly powerful technique to use when interviewing for a job, or for admission to a college or graduate school, especially when combined with Stroking, the fifth of the Five Secrets. David tells a hilarious story of how he got into the Stanford Medical School by using Inquiry and Stroking when he was interview by the Chairman of the Anatomy Department in the dark, spooky basement of the Stanford Museum.
David hikes for several hours every weekend with individuals from his weekly training group at Stanford, and does personal work with them along the way. He describes working with a woman who had crippling shyness since childhood, due to her belief that she was a “loser” and that people would find her boring. The use of “Inquiry” along with “I Feel” Statements (self-disclosure) during the hike was life-transforming when she disclosed her shyness to two elderly men walking with their dogs. The story is inspirational!
David also describes how another hiker could use “Inquiry” to help with a marital problem that had been bothering him for several months.
David encourages listeners (that includes you!) to try using Inquiry five times each day, even in superficial interactions with people in any setting, such as the grocery store, and gives examples of how to do this. Although this will not be the deepest application of Inquiry, the simple daily practice will give you a clear understanding of how this technique works. Practice is the key to growth and learning. You can’t get it just be listening or reading.
You can also accelerate your learning by reading Dr. Burns’ book, Feeling Good Together, and doing the written exercises while you read! You can order the book on Amazon.
Next week, our wonderful Helen joins us again for the Podcast on “I Feel” Statements.
Fabrice and I hope you enjoy our Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing!
At least one listener has had problems leaving an iTunes review from his i-phone, so Fabrice has created some simple to follow instructions if you need help.
Dr. Burns….That was really interesting.. and great….brushing up my skills for a new job…..;) Tamara
Thanks, Tamara, and good luck! david
I’ve recently been practicing the 5 secrets and I am still learning how to apply the techniques. I listened to many podcasts and I’m reading your books/doing the exercises. I’m a complete believer in your method!
During the disarming, if the person continues to aggressively interrupt and ask pointed questions, how do I continue to stay engaged in the conversation? I repeat the steps. I agree/try and find the truth, paraphrase the comments, along with practicing feeling/thought empathy. The person continues to interrupt, argue, blame, and ask questions to prove their point. Do I just continue to try the secrets? In the moment it seems like it’s impossible but I stay committed.
I have often said that these abstract question have very little value. The devil is in the details, the specific example. If you give me an example of what the other person said, and what, exactly, you said next, I will probably, or almost certainly, be able to show you what your errors were, and how you are forcing the person to keep attacking you.
However, this can be painful, to suddenly see how you are causing the exact problem you are complaining about. But also freeing.
So the answer, in short, is that you are probably not using the Five Secrets correctly, but you get lots of credit for your efforts, and some feedback may help you.
I just wanted to say something that struck me as I listened, when the therapist asks for the patient to solve the problem
Patient “nothing you do works!!”
Therapist “what do you think I could do differently?(for ex.)
It really is a “help” question! The therapist is basically asking for “help” but in reverse! And as we know help questions derail everything!
The more I learn about TEAM the more every one of your podcasts expand!! This is true for my classmates as well! They are very very rich and I find my self listening again and again and learning more and more! Your style is deceptively simple and plain spoken but like a Kung fu master, the simplest techniques are the most powerful, or so it seems! Thank you so much and for the Obie stories too! I meant to tell you that last comment I have “when you stop being special life becomes special”-Obie up on my wall too,
Thanks for the kind words. May read on a podcast using your first name. Appreciate your thoughtfulness and deep understanding! david