Tips on how to ask better questions

Inspired by a tweet I saw, and and article I read, today’s tip is about asking better questions.

In Andre Sasser’s tweet she shares that by tweaking how she solicited questions, she saw a big change. “I was saying “do you have any questions?”. Last year I switched to “what questions do you have?” It made a difference. Today I tried “ask me two questions”. And they did! And those ?s led to more ?s. It amazes me that the littlest things have such a big impact!” So instead of asking if anyone has any questions, try:

  • “What questions do you have?” or “What questions may I answer?”
  • “Now, ask me some questions” or “Give me your questions”

This change implies that you both want and expect questions.

In “The Surprising Power of Questions”, these are the key takeaways and tips:

  • Be a good listener, and ask questions people will enjoy answering
  • Asking (many) questions is an important way to create connections and build rapport
  • Ask follow-up questions; they signal that you are listening, care and want to know more
  • Asking open-ended questions is a good way to get unexpected info
  • Getting the sequence right depends on your goal. Consider asking the tough or sensitive questions first if you’re trying to get sensitive info out of people, but do the opposite (slowly build up) if your goal is to build relationships
  • Offer the ability to go back and change answers - people are more likely to be forthcoming (but rarely go back and change answers)

Any other tips to ask better questions? Share them here!

Good tips on how to elicit conversation!

One thing my family physician does is, after answering a question, follow up with “What else would you like to know?” It’s a great way to encourage follow-up questions, similar to what you’ve posted from Andre Sasser’s tweets.