Ask Good Questions

21.11.2019 |

Episode #5 of the course How to communicate like a pro by Patricia Haddock


“The quality of a leader cannot be judged by the answers he gives, but by the questions he asks.” —Simon Sinek, British-American author


Welcome to today’s lesson, where you will get powerful tools to make your conversations lively and memorable, including the ability to ask good questions that get people thinking and focused on what you need from them. Here are five different types of questions to practice.

Open questions. Open questions require a response. Use them to keep a conversation going and elicit more information. They often start with these words: how, what, would, which, etc.

• How could we do this faster?

• What do you think would work in this situation?

• What might happen if we did it this way?

Probing questions. These questions are used to get more detailed information.

• What else would you like?

• What other solution would work for you?

• Can you think of anything we are missing?

Leading questions. They are used to clarify and gain agreement. They often end with don’t you, won’t you, and isn’t it. Use them to lead someone toward a desired answer.

• Last month, I didn’t have to complete the report until the 30th. That’s true this month too, isn’t it?

• I enjoyed that play, didn’t you?

• I think it would be lovely for us to visit my mother this weekend since the weather is so nice, don’t you agree?

Closed questions. Use closed questions to stop the other person from rambling. Closed questions require a yes or no answer.

• Do you want to add anything more to the discussion?

• Is it time to move on?

• Did you tell me to send the report early this week?

Result questions. Here are three different types of result questions that you can use to keep readers focused on your results.

What if questions focus the reader on the results you deliver. It puts attention on the benefits they gain.

• What if you could save more than $1,000 in taxes this year working with me?

• What if you could add five new income streams this year?

• What if you stopped feeling like a wallflower and blossomed at networking events?

Do you questions require the person to agree with you.

• Do you want to stop bleeding money in interest payments?

• Do you want a bikini body in time for your vacation?

• Do you hate having to stand in long lines at the supermarket?

How would you feel if questions focus people on the emotional payback they get from working with you.

• How would you feel if you could increase your income five-fold this year?

• How would you feel if you could be the center of attention at networking events instead of standing on the sidelines?

• How would you feel if you could lose weight and get in shape before your vacation?

Questions are powerful because people want the answers! You and your business are the answer they need.


Action Steps

Step 1. Practicing asking different types of questions during the week.

Step 2. Pay attention to how others use questions.

See you tomorrow, when you will gain skills to help you improve your presentations and feel more confident when you present like a pro.



Recommended books

Asking the Right Questions by M. Neil Browne, Stuart M. Keeley

The Art of Asking: Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers by Terry J. Fadem


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