Most ChatGPT users think of prompts as a one-way street: You input something, the AI outputs something.
Today I’ll show you a technique I like to call "Two-way Street Prompts."
This strategy turns the conversation into a two-way street, allowing ChatGPT to extract more context and information from you, which ultimately leads to better results.
The benefits of using two-way street prompts.
Specific examples of these prompts in action.
When and why to use this approach.
A step-by-step guide to transforming your prompts into two-way street prompts.
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🤖 What are Two-way Street Prompts?
Two-way street prompting is about making ChatGPT extract more information and context from you.
This method is useful because ChatGPT performs best with more context.
Also, you, the prompter, might not always know what context is needed initially, so you’re getting the AI to help you help itself.
By encouraging the AI to ask for this context, you're essentially fine-tuning it to understand your needs better.
Here are some examples of Two-way Street Prompts:
1) The Business Decision Prompt: Turns ChatGPT into a business strategist, first extracting information about your business, then helping you analyze it.
You are a [business strategist, successful entrepreneur, add other relevant roles] and the clearest thinker there is.
Your goal is to help me analyze, evaluate and assess my [business decision] using the 3-step framework provided below. You will first ask me what my [business decision] is and then ensure that you have enough information and context to deliver an output that is meaningful, relevant and actionable for me. If there is information missing, you will ask me relevant questions to obtain that information...
(I displayed only the first part of the prompt. You can get the full prompt here.)
In the last part of this prompt snippet, ChatGPT is told to ask for as much information as it needs to deliver the best output.
If any is missing, it will clarify that and ask for more.
2) The Negotiation Prompt: Turns ChatGPT into a negotiation coach.
Get the full prompt here:
Here’s the relevant snippet of the prompt that creates the two-way street behavior:
You must follow the following process:
1. You will simulate a detailed scenario in which I have to engage in a negotiation.
2. You will fill the role of the manager, I will fill the role of the employee.
3. You will ask for my response in each step of the scenario and wait until you receive it.
4. After getting my response you must grade my response (A to F) and give me detailed feedback about what to do better using the science of negotiation.
5. You will then continue the conversation with details of what the manager does and says.
6. Once the scenario is complete, you will give me a harder scenario if I do well, and an easier one if I fail.
7. One scenario consists of a maximum of 5 responses by me.
In point 3 of the prompt, ChatGPT is instructed to wait for my response before giving detailed feedback.
In point 5 it is then told to continue the conversation based on the answers I give.
3) The Prompt Creator Prompt: Transforms ChatGPT into a prompt creator, constantly seeking your feedback for improvement.
In this prompt ChatGPT is told to help you create a prompt, then continuously iterate it and suggest more improvements with you.
🧠 When and Why to use Two-way Street Prompts
There are three scenarios where I think two-way prompting is especially useful.
Two-way street prompts are useful when you're looking to practice a skill.
You basically turn AI into a personal coach or mentor, not just something (or someone…) who spits out answers.
The negotiation prompt is a good example. You get ChatGPT to play the part of a manager in a pretend scenario. You can then practice your negotiation tactics and receive instant, helpful feedback to polish those skills right on the spot.
2) Iterating on something 🔁
When you've got something that's a work in progress - maybe a creative project, some document, or a marketing plan – that's where this approach shines.
You start with your rough idea or first draft, and then, using prompts similar to the “prompt creator” one above, ChatGPT helps you tweak and polish it bit by bit.
3) Cracking complex tasks or problems 🧩
When you're up against something complex, whether it’s a business problem or an important decision, this is where the more context you have, the better the output.
With two-way street prompts you enable ChatGPT to dig much deeper and give you not just general answers and advice but genuinely actionable tasks and insights that are relevant to your exact situation.
💡 How to transform your prompts into two-way street prompts
Turning your prompts into two-way street prompts is actually pretty straightforward. Here’s how you can do it yourself:
Define Roles, Instructions, or Goals: Start by setting the stage. Who's who in this scenario? What's the main goal or task?
Outline the Steps: Break down the process. What steps will take you from start to finish?
Establish the End Criteria: Decide how you'll know when you've reached the end. What sign or outcome tells you, "Yep, we're done here"?
Let’s go through a transformation example.
Here’s the original prompt:
What are some effective tactics to enhance my current marketing strategy for better engagement with my target audience in the [specify industry] sector?
Now let’s transform this into a two-way street prompt:
I need to revamp my marketing strategy. You will be my marketing coach.
My business sector: [enter your sector]
Current marketing strategy: [enter brief overview of tactics]
Target audience: [enter audience]
Desired outcome: [enter goal]
Steps to follow:
1. As my marketing coach, guide me through developing a strategy to achieve my desired outcome. First, you will ask me for my strategy ideas.
2. After I suggest a strategy, evaluate it (on a scale of 1-5) and provide actionable feedback. Provide upsides and downsides of this strategy.
3. Adjust the scenario based on my responses, and make sure to ask for further clarification on anything if needed.
4. Conclude with final advice after 3 strategy iterations.
The improved prompt will allow you to have a conversation with ChatGPT and give you more nuanced responses.