It is a well known problem in the course of discussions, especially when someone is having a discussion with someone with whom they disagree, that they spend more time listening with the intention of responding rather than with the desire to truly understand. I am fully aware, and can readily admit that I am personally guilty of this. Thankfully I don't do this nearly as often now as I did previously in my life. This is a battle, like so many of the bad habits that we acquire throughout our lives, that we as individuals must face and attempt to overcome.
One of the best ways we can have better, more meaningful and productive conversations is by asking better questions. My guest this week has made an art form out of communicating effectively and asking incredibly insightful and meaningful questions.
Michael Ashford is a former award-winning newspaper reporter, and editor of the Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Ks. His years of journalism experience sharpened his interviewing skills and taught him how important listening and asking follow-up questions is to get the full and real story.
He has transferred that skill set into the podcasting space, now focusing on the power of storytelling. He is still a self-described independent journalist, digging below the surface of cliches and clickbaity headlines to uncover nuance and detail that lives within the most important issues we face these days.
With Michael’s podcast,The Follow-up Question, he aims to remove assumptions and opinions from the questions he asks, and instead, let his guests stories reveal themselves within their answers.
Michael has a passion, as I do, for bettering the world in which we live. Whether it’s through writing articles, giving an inspirationalTedX speech, or interviewing intriguing guests on his podcast, if Michael is saying it, it’s well worth the time to read, watch and/or listen.
What have you done today to make your life a better life? What have you done today to make the world a better place? The world is a better place if we are better people, and that begins with each of us leading a better life. Be kind to one another, be grateful for everything you’ve got, and make each and every day the day that you want it to be!
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