Ask to connect 1

One of the most underrated skills in conversation and relationship building is the skill of asking questions. We have increasingly become a community of tellers rather than listeners.

And I am not excusing my own drift.

For it is easier to overload people with your own information than sit back and let the pause happen. The kind of pause when you ask questions like, ‘How are you and I would really like to know?” or “Why are you leaving worked?” or “How are your children coping with the change of schools?”

There are so many questions that can connect you to another person. In response, the person may offer a lot or they may offer a little but asking a question speaks volumes about worth, value and care.

Recently I walked into a coffee shop which was bright and buzzing when I noted an older woman sitting quietly on her own observing the crowd. I was tempted to sit alone and focus on absolutely nothing but I was drawn to her. To her keen interest in those about her. So, I wandered across and asked to sit down. She smiled. And I asked another question and another. I listened and heard a most extraordinary story. After thirty minutes or more we came up for air. This time as friends and I was reminded of the need to ask questions and listen completely. It really is a foolproof combination.

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.

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