<aside> 🌀 Influence is actually about asking the right questions. The more you can understand (and sincerely try to), the more effectively you can influence.



I attended a workshop with LifeLabs Learning on “influential communication” as part of building my core skills as a product designer. I’m also currently reading “articulating design decisions” by Tom Greever so now seems to the season for honing communication skills.

The workshop started with asking, what is influence? According to LifeLabs Learning, influence is inspiring change in others, from the inside out. We all have the power to influence others, the question is a matter of how.

Influence is inspiring change in others, from the inside out.


The workshop argued that influential communication happens through asking high quality questions, at a relatively high quantity. To influence someone you need to understand them, to understand them you need to ask lots of good questions, tactfully. So right off the bat, ask yourself if you ask enough questions both professionally and personally. For example, if your manager says you need to complete a project by an unreasonable deadline, how might you ask followup questions to make your case? If your roommate doesn’t to do the dishes in a timely manner, how might you ask questions to reach common ground? If you’re feeling confused about a multifaceted problem you’re trying to solve, what questions should you be asking yourself for clarity?

Question agility — the ability to pivot into different questions

Techniques for asking effective questions

20 questions technique

➡️ In one minute write 20 questions about your manager