Questioning Effectively

  • Demonstrate genuine interest and concern
  • Generate new ideas
  • Facilitate learning
  • Build commitment to solutions and plans
  • Empower


Eight ideas to increase your success in asking questions include:

  1. Create a culture where questions are welcome.  Encourage questions and be open when you respond.
  1. Follow the KISS rule.  Keep your questions short and simple.   One question at a time; not more that twelve words long.
  1. Consider the three “R’s”
    • right time
    • right manner
    • right person
  1. Always start with an open question to encourage others to share.  i.e. “Tell me about…?” or How…? or What…?
  1. Be prepared to record any important details.   A short pencil is better that a long memory.
  1. Frame questions positively. Instead of asking “What went wrong?” ask “What could be done differently?”88,
  1. Support by asking, “How can I help?  ”Learn by ask, “What would you do?”  Empower by asking, “What do you think we should do?”  Innovate by asking, “What are our competitors going to do?”
  1. Listen to the answers provided.  If the issue is complicated, demonstrate your understanding by paraphrasing the question before you respond.