“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
Curiosity tends to take a backseat soon as you advance in your career. The powerful unique tool that unlocks the value in organisations and other fields of life is indeed a great questioning.
Whether it’s about your job, business, career, relationships, if you want to move forward, you need to get better at asking questions. Asking good questions not only forms strong relationships but also provides us with the opportunities to learn something new and excel in our careers.
Most people are not capable of asking good questions, or they don’t pose their inquiries optimally whereas some people are emotionally intelligent, and their natural inquisitiveness makes them great individuals for asking better questions than others.
The good news is, getting better at asking questions is indeed a learned skill, and you can learn to get better at asking questions. Here’s how!
Plan your questions
Before you are going to meet someone, outline the sequence of your related questions and highlight the information goals that you seek. Cue your notes that will help you follow the conversation.
Realise what you want to discover in the meeting and plan likewise by probing some baseline questions to begin the conversation ahead. You can also modify the list as your meeting progresses.
Ask questions in brief
Try to be brief while asking questions. This can be done by deciding on your purpose or goal for asking the question and try to be structured while questioning. You should determine prior to what kind of questions you are going to ask.
Flooding too many questions all at once can create confusion, and you might not be able to gather as much information as you might be expecting or it might lead to incomplete answers. Try to craft short questions that cover a single point each to get more complete answers.
Ask relatable questions only
It’s better to ask relatable questions instead of asking the irrelevant ones. Don’t ask the question if you feel like the answer coming from that question is something that doesn’t matter much. Avoid appearing resistant to another person by asking an irrelevant question and respect other person’s attention and time in any setup.
If you have so many questions to ask, build a hierarchy of questions that initiates with a bigger picture leading to the specific ones using follow-up questions. Asking a relevant and right question is very crucial to any conversation.
Don’t ask repetitive questions
Asking repetitive questions over and over again only reflects your stress, anxiety, boredom, memory loss, and confusion. Another person might become inclined to think that you are deliberately trying to annoy him or waste his time. Repetitive questioning can sometimes get an extremely unpleasant experience that makes the conversation irritating and tiring for both the parties as you tend to be discussing the same topics over and over again.
It’s ideal for planning before what you need to ask and combine any questions that seem to acquire the same information. Instead of having a weak conversation having lots of repetitive questions, try to be more structured and have an empowering conversation that leaves an impact on your strong personality.
Once you’ve planned all the questions, you need to ask, one of the most crucial steps people forget is to avoid interruption. Sometimes people are doing it so involuntarily that they didn’t know how much the other person is getting frustrated and annoyed.
If you keep on interrupting someone, he will feel disrespected, annoyed and irritable so it’s better to listen to the full answer to your question first before flooding with bundles of questions to the other person. To let your conversation flow naturally, you can frame your next question to be asked accordingly instead of hammering through your planned agenda.