When’s the last time you stopped to think about how you ask questions? Do you have a method or a strategy for uncovering deeper answers? The greatest communicators know how to ask the right questions. The perfect question can make all the difference. It can change the conversation completely, leading to new ideas and new outcomes. Here, I share 5 of my favorite articles on how to ask better questions.
Read time: 20 minutes.
I love this “question storming” concept. Instead of attacking a problem with knee-jerk solutions, question storming attacks the problem with thoughtful questions. Better questions lead to deeper empathy by uncovering personal biases that we may not initially see. Today, challenge yourself to ask the questions that reveal your biases and force you to consider things from another angle.
3 Questions To Tackle Any Problem
Read time: 10 minutes.
How you begin asking a question will change the answer. When you start a question, begin with “why,” “what if,” and “how,” in that order. “Starting with why” opens the dialogue to determine the reason behind the concept. “What if” opens imagination and considers new possibilities. Finally, “how” focuses in on the tactical elements and, further, execution. Use this sequence of questioning to uncover and resolve the problem.
Questions and Empathy: Card Game
Use this card game with your team to open up about what’s important. Based on the book Applied Empathy, this game helps to break the ice with the individuals on your team. Without being too heavy or too cheesy, Questions and Empathy focuses on highlighting other’s experiences to foster greater empathy.
The Surprising Power of Questions
Read time: 20 minutes.
Believe it or not, the order in which you ask questions matters. Have you thought about how you structure the sequence of your questioning? It turns out that the progression of questions can affect a person’s receptivity and influence the truthfulness of their answers. Obviously, a lie isn’t helpful to anyone, and inquisitors tend to get deeper answers by asking soft questions at first and easing their subject in. Don’t forget to keep an eye on body language!
How to Ask Questions Better: Video
Watch time: 5.5 minutes.
I’ve always loved Tim Ferris because he asks serious questions. In his book, Tribe of Mentors, he asks questions of the world’s greatest thinkers. Here, he shares about his question-asking process. This method aims to ask more effective questions that evoke respect from the asker. My favorite tip: people love to hear their own voice and want to feel like the smartest person in the room.