Questions are the mark of the curious person.
The ability to ask great questions forms a valuable part of the communication process. To manage questions well, you need to know how to structure, sequence, deliver and time them effectively. It is a most complex – and inordinately powerful – skill set.
Useful questions to ask yourself before asking a question of your own include:
‘Do I need to ask a question now?’
‘What is the most useful question I can ask?’
‘For whom is this question most useful?’
‘Will this question give me, or the other person, the level of information required?’
‘How can I phrase this question so that the other person understands it exactly how I need them to?’
Questions that help us explore new possibilities include:
‘In what other ways can I use this?’
‘What can this person teach me?’
‘What can I learn from this situation?’
‘What am I currently unaware of in this situation?’
‘What assumptions are driving my behaviour?’
To ask great questions you first have to see and hear clearly. You have to give huge amounts of skilled attention to others. You have to recognise language patterns, beliefs, assumptions, the ways others use their senses to define reality. You have to recognise, and remove, your own communication blinkers.
Until next time,
Keep Closing the Gap.