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Part IV: The Art of Listening: The Under... > Comparators: Precision Questions

Chapter 14. Comparators: Precision Questions

Precision questions help get a clearer understanding of what the person means when he or she uses comparators. Precision listening leads to precision questions. Comparators are words and phrases used to compare one idea to another. Often, comparators are imprecise and unclear. For example, your boss may tell you to be “more productive.” Well, what specifically does that mean? More productive than what? Than you were last year? Last month? More productive than your coworkers?

You may respond to these statements by asking, “How do you measure productivity?” or “More productive compared to what, or who?” If you ask these questions directly, and in a way that indicates that you are seeking a better, clearer understanding, you will not seem to be challenging or threatening to the other person.


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