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Why Ask Questions?

 

Asking questions is a powerful communication tool that is woefully underutilized in our society today. All too often individuals talk too much and do not listen enough. Questioning is a way of enhancing our interpersonal communication skills. Twelve benefits of the power of inquiry are:

  • obtains and clarifies information
  • shows the other person you’re interested
  • provokes thought
  • provides control in many situations
  • promotes the power of persuasion
  • improves your critical thinking
  • helps you listen better
  • validates the other person
  • identifies issues
  • stops premature conclusions
  • uncovers omitted information
  • finds fallacies in other arguments

Being an effective questioner is important in our personal lives as well as our career development. Most successful leaders are extremely good questioners. They have the ability to get the information they need to make the best decisions.

The art and science of being an effective questioner takes a solid understanding of the techniques of asking not only the right questions, but asking questions in a way that people will obtain candid answers.  Two very good books on the art and science of questioning are:

  • Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking, Seventh edition by M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley
  • Smart Questions: The Essential Strategy for Successful Managers, by Dorothy Leeds

To improve your relationships and thinking skills, you need to study and practice the art of inquiry.

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