Archive for March 7th, 2008

Public Relations is applicable to day-to-day situations – Be sincere in your questions

Posted on March 7, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Many people think that Public Relations are tools available only to businesses. Public relations is really applicable in day-to-day situations.

I’ll be starting a series of PR in day-to-day situation posts. This hopes to relate daily situations with PR fundamentals. Hopefully, with this information, I’ll be part of the many efforts to elevate PR from it’s misconstrued evil cousin who has a reputation of being fake, shallow and insincere.

More often than not, people around us are our resources. From time to time, we ask them questions, hoping to seek some advice and counsel to matters we that are of value to us.

Asking questions and seeking opinions are a great way of checking one’s thoughts and it opens up opportunities to learn new perspectives. At the end of the exercise, it allows us to gain a more holistic view on one’s existing perceptions.

Asking questions and seeking counsel requires skill. Here are some suggestions:

1) Keep an open mind – If you already have a pre-conceived notion of what the answer should be, don’t ask the question. It insults the person who is giving you his point-of-view. Always keep an open mind. In a case where you disagree, you can respond with your personal point-of-view. However, do so only after you have acknowledged the sender’s ideas. Consider before responding. No use getting defensive.

2) Have an objective for questions you ask – If you ask for the sake of asking, you are naturally not open for any answers. In that case, you risk the relationship between the sender and the receiver. Always have rationale for asking the question. Even a simple “I want to ask this question to affirm my decision” could well be a rationale for the question. Do have to take point 1 in consideration though.

3) Present your questions in an open ended manner – Close ended questions have little value. Even if it is irrelevant, there is value in hearing another person’s perspective. It gives you a hint to other subject matters and it might be a piece of useful information.

4) Avoid using the word “Why” or take a questioning tone – You are seeking inputs from the sender in every question you ask. You need to respect that, and for that matter, be appreciative that an answer is shared with you. Remember, the sender has a choice: whether to answer or not. If he / she does, it’s already doing you a favour. Be appreciative and you are off to a good start.

5) Be professional / objective in your questions and thank the answerer at the end of the question. – Being polite helps you build a personal reputation. To avoid being embroiled in a emotional spiral, ask questions as objectively as possible. Avoid embedding emotional elements in your questions. It doesn’t help.

These inputs represents my personal thoughts. Feel free to share yours.

More coming. =)

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