The Groundlings School of Improvisation taught me to make statements. I personally love to ask questions, however, this keeps me from thinking outside the box. Last week I talked to a real estate company in Columbus and did my keynote address- “Eyes of a Leader”. I had the entire audience perform improvisation to experience the technique firsthand. Then I had one group come up and show their skits to the entire audience.
In the skit I had one woman be the real estate agent and the second woman be a potential buyer. As for the story line, the agent was showing the house to a potential buyer. During their skit, the agent walks the buyer through the home and makes statements about the house which included how beautiful the kitchen is, back yard, and the foyer. Throughout the tour she is sharing things about herself and the home to the buyer and establishing a bond between the two. The skit ends as they exit the house and get in their cars to drive off. During the skit both women talked, communicated and established a connection the short time they were on stage.
After the skit, I asked the group what they thought about making statements and I had one man raise his hand. He said, “In reality when you meet a potential buyer you only have a very short time to work with them and you need to ask as many questions as you can to get the information you need”. He didn’t agree with the value of making statements at a potential showing.
One of the women in the skit countered his statement by saying yes we have a limited time with the buyer but how do you want to use your time. Do you want your showing to be filled with questions or more of a conversation where both of you are contributing? That is what making statements does, it allows both people to share information with one another in a give and take manner.
I added to their discussion and said when I bought my house 6 years ago the agent I chose had a great personality and didn’t ask me a lot of questions. It’s true, she shared a lot of information about her and I shared information about me and we clicked. I remember interviewing other agents and it was a question and answer period with all of them and I felt I didn’t know who they were and they didn’t know who I was.
In addition, I don’t like being asked a lot of questions. I then turned to the group and asked them if they like being asked a multitude of questions in bother their personal and professional life? All of them shook their head and said No. Even the gentleman who disagreed about the value of making statements agreed he didn’t like being asked questions. However, he still felt it was imperative to ask questions at a future showing.