Transform your relationship habits | Transform your career

April 28th, 2015

by Nicole Huston

On April 16, we joined authentic relationship expert, Ken Fortier of NetPlus Connections at Grand Rapids Brewing Co. to learn what it takes to form deeper, more meaningful connections with other professionals to achieve networking and business results.

Personal and business relationships are closely tied. Technology, smartphones and our fast-paced AMAmarch2015-2346culture have changed the way we relate to each other, so it’s important to make an effort to be present and authentic in all our relationships. Following are questions with tips from Ken on how to get started.

Here are three questions you can ask people while networking or prospecting.

  1. What is something you’re trying to accomplish within the next 12 months?
  2. What is going well for you, right now?
  3. What is not going well for you, right now?

Before you try this out in the business world, it’s best to practice with those closest to you, like family and friends. Listen to their answers. Ask them to tell you more about what they share with you. Remember, the goal is to become more authentic with those closest to you and then with those you work with, prospect to or your existing clients.

An important part of the process is to learn, practice and share opportunities that you have as you encounter connections.


This experience works best when you ask the questions verbatim. The wording has been carefully honed through years of experience to encourage people to open up and connect with you in a deeper way. So small differences in wording (e.g., “What are your goals for this year?”) don’t work as well and result in conversations that are often not as productive.

  • Timing is important when asking family these questions – pick a time when everyone is relaxed. Be prepared to respond with your answers to the same three questions, too.
  • Don’t try to steer their answers in one direction or another (e.g., work or personal). Ask them to share the first thing that comes into their mind.
  • Give them your full attention. Listen to their response and don’t interject your story into theirs. Ask deeper questions so you understand the answer. Make sure that you have listened and really understand what they’re saying.

Have fun! I’d love to hear your experience the next time we meet!

Ken Fortier
Learn more about Ken Fortier’s NetPlus Connections seminars and register for a seminar near you.