10 Ways to Ask Great Questions

10 Ways to Ask Great Questions

Identify Your Discovery RoadmapIdentify Your Discovery Roadmap

Before launching the fact-finding session, determine the essential details you seek, and build each one into the ensuing discussion.

Limit Your AssumptionsLimit Your Assumptions

Remember: The more you think you know, the less you’ll find out.

Ask Open-Ended QuestionsAsk Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions which begin with words like “what,” “how” and “why” will help eliminate dead-end “yes” or “no” responses and other unhelpful one-word replies.

Listen ActivelyListen Actively

That’s when you physically engage the other person with eye contact, posture and comforting gestures to make them know that their input is important.

Don't OverwhelmDon’t Overwhelm

Each question should address a singular line of inquiry, not three, four, etc.

Reload the QuestionReload the Question

If you have suspicions about an earlier answer, repeat the same question with altered wording later in the conversation to see if the response remains consistent.

Don't Ask Leading QuestionsDon’t Ask Leading Questions

That’s when you supply an answer that you think you’re looking for. But you may prevent a more truthful and valuable narrative disclosure this way.

Embrace Smart SilenceEmbrace Smart Silence

Not saying anything in a one-on-one conversation can cause the other person to keep talking, thereby dispensing useful information.

Always Opt for Face-to-FaceAlways Opt for Face-to-Face

Yes, you can get good information from a phone call or text, but you’ll always get more in person.

Eliminate DistractionsEliminate Distractions

Go somewhere where there will be no interruptions, with no computers in sight and smartphones turned off.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

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