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NC Paraprofessional 2019 - How To Ask Better Questions

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In this hybrid presentation/workshop, learn some tips on how to ask better questions, practice active listening, and get better answers. The focus will be on team communication at work, but these tips could be applied to family, friends, and patron interactions as well.

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NC Paraprofessional 2019 - How To Ask Better Questions

  1. 1. How to ask better questions And Get Better Answers
  2. 2. Why do we ask questions?
  3. 3. Types of Questions Introductory Questions • How are you? Mirror Questions • I’m fine. How are you? Full-switch questions • Changes the topic entirely Follow-Up Questions • Solicit more information
  4. 4. “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” - Thomas Berger
  5. 5. Why might we NOT ask questions?
  6. 6. On average, a 4-year-old asks a question every 2 minutes
  7. 7. Curiosity
  8. 8. Questions are a large part of listening
  9. 9. Closed-Ended YES/NO INFORMATIONAL
  10. 10. Clarifying Questions • Follow-up to get more information or to understand information better. • How many resources do you need for your assignment? • What books has your club already read?
  11. 11. PuzzleTime A woman walks into a hardware store. She can buy: • 6 for $6 • 12 for $12 • 24 for $12 What is she buying?
  12. 12. Open-Ended • What is your favorite memory from childhood? Did you have a good childhood? • Oh, tell me about the best parts of your vacation! Did you enjoy your vacation? • What is your research project about? What book do you need?
  13. 13. Probing Questions CHALLENGE THE PERSON TO GO DEEPER INTO THEIR LINE OF THOUGHT. MIGHT CHALLENGE ASSUMPTIONS, OR ASK FOR FURTHER REFLECTION. MIGHT EVOKE MORE QUESTIONS. WARNING! AVOID CONFUSING ADVICE FOR A PROBING QUESTION.
  14. 14. Be Prepared
  15. 15. A coworker is going to be out on leave for a couple of months and we’ll be understaffed. What should we do? What could we do?
  16. 16. Asking BETTER questions DO YOUR RESEARCH – BE INFORMED DON’T BE AFRAID DEMONSTRATE GENUINE CURIOSITY KEEP IT SIMPLE TRY ON DIFFERENT LENSES/HATS/FRAMEWORKS BE GRACIOUS
  17. 17. Practice Active Listening
  18. 18. Group Activity • Pair up! • Persons 1 and 3 – tell your partner about something you love (does not have to be work related). • Switch partners • Persons 2 and 4 are going to tell their new partner what their previous partner loves. • Group of 4 • All persons get together – persons 1 and 3 will tell the group what the other loves. • All ‘listening’ persons may ask questions! 1 & 2 3 & 4 4 & 1 2 & 3 1,2,3,4
  19. 19. Further Resources Pocket Guide to Probing Questions http://schoolreforminitiative.org/doc/probing_questions_guide.pdf The Surprising Power of Questions – Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2018/05/the-surprising-power-of-questions How to Be Amazingly Good at Asking Questions https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-amazingly- good-asking-questions.html The Art of Asking Questions [TEDx Talks] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZSY0PssqH0 The Value of Asking Questions [TEDx Talks] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZIuAQw8RA4
  20. 20. What questions do you have? Amanda McLellan mclellana15@ecu.edu www.amandamclellan.com

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