Who knew there was an art to asking questions? Asking the right questions can either open or shut down conversations. The art of questioning lies in knowing which questions you ask when.
There are 5 different types of questions:
Open Questions – Engage others by asking them to share thoughts and perspectives. Open questions facilitate deeper understanding. “What do you think about the company setting up a coffee shop for all staff members?”
Closed /Questions – Are specific and solicit a yes or a no answer to collect information quickly. “Do you read the company newsletter?”
Fact-Finding Questions – Aim at getting information on a particular subject. “What percentage of staff replied to the communication survey?”
Follow-Up Questions – Follow-up questions keep the conversation moving forward and allow for clarification and elaboration of details. “What were the most important communication issues highlighted?”
Feedback Questions – Solicit input from others. “What are your thoughts on the reported survey results?”
Choosing questions appropriately can bring clarity and quality to the conversation and help establish openness in relationships. Remember when asking questions, the tone of your voice can impact how a question is perceived by others. For example, using a harsh tone instead of a softer tone when asking questions may become counter-productive. Learn about mastering communication skills through the Communication Essentials program offered by the Centre for Continuing Education and explore Coaching Resources to discover how open-ended questions facilitate coaching conversations.