How do you expect to get the right kind of information from a communication dialogue? Unless the speaker provides you with the facts and details, you will never find out about the many other things you want to discover if you do not ask questions. Questioning is but a part of an exchange in communication between and among individuals. It is a key tool to learning new knowledge, clearing out confusions and misunderstanding, and in resolving issues.
Asking questions is a skill that needs to be honed. By mastering the art of asking the right and effective questions, other communication skills are also improved such as the ability to gather more information and acquire new knowledge, the skill in building better relationships, and people management.
Develop your question skills by understanding the various types of questioning techniques and finding out the most appropriate instances to use these techniques. Moreover, you must learn the principles governing good questioning skills and how it is characterized by the person asking the question. This makes it easier for you to throw intelligent and effective questions in an exchange of communication.
The Characteristics of a Good Questioner
- A questioner has to demonstrate the need to gather information. The need for information itself fuels a person to ask questions.
- A questioner must particularly know the kind of information needed. It allows for a formulation of relevant, direct-to-the-point questions.
- A questioner must have good knowledge of terminologies and must possess wide vocabulary in relation to the context or subject matter in order to construct relevant questions. Without sufficient knowledge, a person can hardly relate to the issue and can barely ask questions pertaining to the issue.
- A questioner must have the ability to ask an array of significant questions using the various questioning techniques. Based on the information needed, that is how the questions will be created.
- A questioner must have a good list of proper and credible resources for making effective and relevant questions.
- A questioner must be able to modify, rephrase, or edit their questions as needed or when the construction does not seem clear enough to the other person.
Various Questioning Techniques
Asking open-ended questions simply requires further explanation or elaboration in order to gather more information from the speaker. It gets the conversation going and allows for more details of the subject matter. Open-ended questions start with Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Other starters also include “Can you tell me more”, “Please explain more about” and phrases that elicit more answers.
In contrast to the former, closed-ended questions limit a person’s answers. These questions are asked to lead a conversation. Information needed is specific and limited, sometimes answerable by yes or no. It is also used to confirm facts. Closed-ended questions usually start with the linking verbs is, are, and am.
This questioning technique involves asking questions from a general to a deductive manner. Investigators and detectives commonly use this technique in order to dig deeper and get to the most specific answers needed. One tip to ask funnel questions is to start with closed-ended questions and then progressing using open-ended questions.
In order to understand an issue better, the use of probing questions helps. These are intelligent, relevant open or closed questions based from the subject matter or issue at hand. Use probing questions to be sure you were able to capture everything and comprehend it thoroughly. These questions are also effective in gaining information from people who are hesitant to share details.
Sales people are fond of using leading questions for the purpose of generating sales. It is best to use leading questions to people who cannot seem to decide over choices. Leading questions are normally closed-ended type of questions.
These questions are not really questions in construction because they do not require answers at all. Rhetorical questions are statements modified in the form of a question. It is intended to engage a listener into the conversation.
The Advantages of Having Good Questioning Skills
You cannot be a good communicator if you do not know how to ask questions. There are so many benefits of being an effective questioner. Demonstrating effective questioning skills is useful in the following instances:
• Learning new knowledge
• Information gathering
• Managing and coaching
• Conflict resolution
• Persuading people
• Winning negotiations
• Enhancing people skill