MVP: Asking the second question (or the same question a second time) indicates you care, and often leads to honest revelations.
My son Lance is a big kayaker. Several weeks ago, he competed in a race on the Russel Fork and cut 20 seconds off his previous best time.
Last weekend he was due to compete in bigger race on a more consequential run on the Green River here in North Carolina.
He’d left early in the week to “get some laps in” ahead of the Saturday race.
Pam and I had blocked our weekend and were planning on getting up early Saturday to go watch him, but on Thursday Lance called me to tell me he was pulling out of the race.
I know the section of river is intense and dangerous, and my father’s brain went right away to his health.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Lance. Really, are you alright?”
Thankfully nothing was broken, but he had taken a spill and gotten beat up.
I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t ask the second question.
Today’s intention: What about people you are working with? Has someone “gotten beat up”? How would you know? This week, when you check in with people, ask the second question: Really, how are you? As always, the power is in asking, and listening. Honor your own silence.