People Skills:

Effective Communication

Asking Effective Questions

The Art of Learning, Discovery, Achievement, and Communication

Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Happiness, Achievement, Inspiration, and Innovation unlimited!

"A prudent question is one half of wisdom." ~ Francis Bacon

Asking versus Telling

Main Benefits

  1. Establishing rapport: don't try to impress people with your ideas, rather establish rapport and trust by eliciting ideas from them and thus expressing how much you care about them

  2. Better listening, deeper understanding: all too often, while you are talking, your prospect is not listening but thinking about what he/she is going to say. When you ask questions, you make your prospect think in the direction you propose.

  3. Higher motivation, better follow-up: the right answer will not be imposed by you, it will be found and owned by your prospect, who, thus, will be more motivated to follow it up

Getting Response You Need

Types of Questions

 

Searching for New Opportunities

"Why?" and "What If?" Questions

  • Why we always do things this way? What if we do it differently?

  • Why should we limit ourselves to getting better in what we are doing? What if we change things radically?... More

Learning SWOT Questions

  • What went unexpectedly well and why?

  • Are there any new directions to be explored?... More

The 10 Essentials of Effective Communication

  • Ask the right types of questions at the right time asking the right question is often more important than knowing what to say... More

The Four Principles of Natural Selling

By: Michael Oliver7

  1. The Purpose of a Business is Helping Other People Solve Their Problems.

  2. Asking the Right Types of Questions at the Right Time.

  3. Listening to What is Being Meant, Not Just What Is Being Said.

  4. Feeding Back What You Think You Heard.

Types of Questions

Searching Questions

'Why? What If?' Questions

Learning SWOT Questions

Coaching Questions

Socratic Questions

Achievement Management

NLP   the Technology of Achievement

Coaching Yourself

Influencing People

Create Greater Value for Other People

Effective Listening

Connecting With People

Coaching

Coaching Spectrum: the Ask/Tell Repertoire

Bad Feedback vs. Good Feedback: Helpful Hints

Problem Solving

Solving People Problems

5-Why Method

Creative Problem Solving

Questions for Creative Business Problem Solving

Organizational Strategy Formulation

Critical Question Analysis

The Art of Effective Questioning

How you ask questions is very important in establishing a basis for effective communication. Effective questions open the door to knowledge and understanding. The art of questioning lies in knowing which questions to ask when. "Address your first question to yourself: if you could press a magic button and get every piece of information you want, what would you want to know? The answer will immediately help you compose the right questions."2

Choosing Questions

Ask a specific question if you want to hear a specific answer. Open as opposed to leading questions are those that cannot be answered with a straight "yes" or "no". Use open questions to gain insight into the other person's character, and to invite the response.

Learning Questions

To profit from experience you must be open and willing to learn, even from what some people might consider a failure. What may seem to be a failure can actually lead to new opportunities. Effective learning questions can serve as a starting point for the assimilation of learning.

Coaching Questions

Being the core component of the coaching ask / tell repertoire, coaching questions are "to prompt the learners into exploring issues in depth either by direct questions or by implied questions even a raised eyebrow so that they become more aware of what is going on and can eventually coach themselves and other. Feedback can then be used to discuss progress and provide guidance, but still by using questions and the main vehicle for progress whenever possible."4 ... More

Pretending Ignorance: Smart Is Dumb

Socrates used this technique more than 2300 years ago. He pretended ignorance in order to encourage others to express their views fully.

Today, many world's smartest and fastest businesspeople have perfected this art consciously or unconsciously of paying dumb. "People who try to impress by pretending to be smart generally aren't. Truly smart people know that by playing dumb and asking the other party to repeat or explain things several times, asking lots of questions, they'll be better prepared to respond and then make a fast decision."6

Question Based Selling (QBS)

In sales, asking the right question is just as important as knowing what to say. Salespeople must know how to ask the right questions at the right time to clients and customers in order to identify new opportunities, qualify accounts and uncover needs.  This is the principle behind Question Based Selling (QBS).7

Selling Is Problem Solving

Business Communication: The First Contact

To build relationships and network with people effectively, the only thing you need to  do is to ask them all about their business and what they do. What questions should you be asking to create the right situation for perfecting it?... More

Searching Questions

Searching questions can help you discover new opportunities, uncover the roots of a problem, and find creative solutions to it.

Asking searching questions starts with challenging assumptions. If you do not check assumptions you cannot be good at asking searching questions. Don't ask one or two questions and then rush straight towards a solution. With an incomplete understanding of the problem it is very easy to jump to wrong conclusions.

Ask open-ended questions that elicit a wide rage of answers:

  • 'Why' questions  to discover the roots of the problem

  • 'How' questions to discover different routes to significant improvement... More

 Case in Point  Dell Computer Corporation

"It is really dangerous if everyone in a company starts thinking the same way", says Michael Dell2, Founder of the Dell Computer Corporation. "The danger comes when you fall into the trap of approaching problems too similarly. You can encourage your people to think about your business, your industry, your customers innovatively. Ask a different question or word the same question in a different way. By approaching a problem, a response or an opportunity from a different perspective, you create an opportunity for new understanding and new learning. By questioning all the aspects of our business, we continuously inject improvement and innovation into our culture."... More

 Case in Point  25 Lessons from Jack Welch

To Jack Welch, the legendary former CEO of General Electric, business leadership is all about knowing what questions to ask of his subordinates. That's all managing is, says he: just coming up with the right questions and getting the right answers.

To understand the strategic issues within each of GE businesses and to see where these business units were going Welch asked the five questions... More

 

 

 

References::

  1. "Super Communication - the NLP Way", Russel Webster

  2. "Essential Manager's Manual", Robert Heller & Tim Hindle

  3. "Strategic Learning in Action", T. Grundy

  4. "How To Be Better at Delegation and Coaching", Tony Atherton

  5. "Secrets of Question Based Selling," Thomas A. Freese

  6. It's not the BIG and eats the SMALL... it's the FAST that eats the SLOW, Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton

  7. "Natural Selling," Michael Oliver