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The art of questioning (2)


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It is the skill of asking the right type of questions, to the right person at the right time and in the right environment.
"The power of questioning is the basis of all human progress"
Is is rightly said, "Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers".

Published in: Education
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The art of questioning (2)

  1. 1. The Art of Questioning By – N.G.Palit
  2. 2. What is a good question?  ”Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” -- Anthony Robbins
  3. 3. What is the art of questioning?  It is the skill of asking the right type of questions, to the right person at the right time and in the right environment.
  4. 4. What is Questioning?  Questions can be defined as: ”A sentence phrase, or gesture that seeks information through a reply.”
  5. 5. Purpose of Questioning? It is quite interesting that when we ask questions, we:  May not be interested to get an honest answer.  Just want an agreement.  Would like our opinions, ’backed up.’  May not actually need an answer.
  6. 6. Purpose of questioning  Therefore, in order to ask the type of questions, we need to be aware of our true motives behind asking them.
  7. 7. What questions can accomplish?  Questions can accomplish seven broad tasks:  Gain knowledge  Promote & expand thinking.  Clarify.  Probe..  Guide  Intimidate
  8. 8. 1. Gain Knowledge  From our childhood, most of us have seen a child constantly asking ”why.” It is to gain knowledge.  But, we can gain knowledge, only if we recognize a need to do so.  A few arrogants who think that they have all the answers may be unwilling to seek the opinions of others.
  9. 9. 2.Promote & expand thinking  In order to think, consider the best possible way how to get more (quality) information, through appropriate and unbiased questioning.
  10. 10. 3. Clarify  This is to ensure that our understanding of an answer is correct and unbiased.  The process involves offering back to the responder what we understood them to have meant.
  11. 11. 4. Probe  Probing questions are designed to dig or think more deeply.  They often start with: ”what” ”why” ”how” ”when”
  12. 12. 5. Guide  It is an approach to guide the responder to solve an issue by himself, through a series of deliberate questions, which will help them to reach an answer.  This particular type of question is called ”the reflective toss”.
  13. 13. 5. Guide  The reflective toss: Question ”Reflective Toss” Responder’s Answer
  14. 14. 6. Intimidate  This type of questions and their styles come under the following categories:  Rapid firing of questions without allowing a response.  Aggressive tone, pitch and speed.  Aggressive body language.
  15. 15. 6. Intimidate  Aggressive body language coupled with warm language  This creates a neural dissonance in the brain.
  16. 16. 7. Attack  These questions are personal in nature, and the questioner is not interested in the response.  These questions may be used to berate the responder.  They may often start with – ’you’ or ’you are.’
  17. 17. Why do we ask questions?  To obtain information.  Out of curiosity.  To maintain control of conversation.  To clarify.  To express interest in another person.  To encourage thought.  To test or gain knowledge.
  18. 18. Why questions are asked?  To enhance vision.  To explore personality or difficulties.  To show others how much.  For critical reflective learning – ”to assess what went wrong,”
  19. 19. Types of questions  Before questioning we must be clear:  Who is my audience?  What is my relationship with them?  Is this the right time to ask?  Is this the right environment?  Are my intentions clear / good?
  20. 20. Different types of questions  1. Closed  2. Tag or Tail  3. Open  4. Imaginative  5. Funnel  6. Probing  7. Recall and Process
  21. 21. Different types of questions  8. Leading  9. Loaded  10. Rhetorical  11. Emphatic / emotional
  22. 22. 1. Closed Questions The main features of closed questions are:  1. Single short answers like, ”yes”, ”no”, ”don’t know.”  2. They usually provide a factual answer.  3. Used to gain clarification.  4. They force a person to give a brief answer.  5. But, a misplaced question can stop conversation and lead to silence.
  23. 23. Examples of closed questions Some examples of closed questions are:  ”What is your name”?  ”Do you smoke”?  ”What do you prefer, tea or coffee”?
  24. 24. 2. Tag Questions  The main features of Tag or tail questions are:  They turn a statement into a question.  They allow us to check what we suspect or know is true.
  25. 25. Examples of Tag or Tail question  ”You can do this today, can’t you”?  ”I am the best person for the job, aren’t I”?  ”Yours is the best way to do, isn’t it”?  But, the drawback is that a person who is ’forced’ to agree, may feel aggrieved and may not cooperate at a later stage.
  26. 26. 3. Open Questions  Open questions begin with: ”What ---” ”Why ---” ”When ---” ”How ---” ”Which ---”  In order to get the most out of open questions, one has to be an ’active listener.’
  27. 27. Main features of open questions  They encourage conversation.  They are good for finding out details  They give ’control’ to the responder during conversation.  They often start with ’what’, ’when’ ’why’, ’tell me’. ’describe’, etc. But, they take longer time, and one needs to be an active listener.
  28. 28. 4. Imaginative Questions  Imaginative questions are free from the strict norms and constraints of normal questioning.  They help both the sides to see things in a different light.  Example: ”If money was no consideration, what would you do”?
  29. 29. Imaginative Questions  Imaginative questions are often called: ”Blue sky thinking” ”Thinking out of the box” ’ Looking at the world through rose tinted glasses.’ * Advantage of thinking creatively and without any constraint, generates creative and innovative ideas.
  30. 30. 5. Funnel Questions  These questions ’funnel’ or ’channel’ the responder (s)  They start with open questions, but gradually narrow down to closed question.  Sometimes, it can be the other way – close to open questions.
  31. 31. Funnel Questions  1. Open to close questioning is normally used by police in order to obtain the maximum amount of information.  2. Closed to open questioning can be used for establishing better rapport with people.  Advantages: Funnel questions are ideal for finding out more details.
  32. 32. 6. Probing Questions  Probing questions help to obtain more details. Different types of probing questions are:  a) Clarification  b) Purpose  c) Relevance  d) Repetition
  33. 33. Probing Questions  e) Echo  f) Examples  g) Extension  h) Accuracy  i) Emotional  j) Evaluation
  34. 34. Clarification  It is used to get more details, when the responder uses vague or unclear language.  Some examples are: ”What did you mean by xxx”? ”Can you tell me more about ---”
  35. 35. Purpose  It is used when there is confusion about the purpose of what they said. Examples:  ”What were you thinking about, when you said ---”?  ”Why did you say ---”?
  36. 36. Relevance  This can be used if the discussion or conversation sounds that it is going off the track.  Example: ”How is that relevant to the question”?
  37. 37. Repetition  This is one of the best way to get more details. We can ask the question in the same way or we can rephrase it.  Example: ”Where did you go?” ”Which places did you visit?”
  38. 38. Echo  In echo questioning, we repeat what has already been said, emphasizing the areas where we would like to get more details.  Examples: Ans: ”Can we go out?” Question; ”Can we go out, what do you
  39. 39. Examples  This can be used when we need to ask for specific examples to test the depth of their answer or to check the honesty behind it.  Such type of questions are often used in job interviews.
  40. 40. Examples Some questions can be like:  ”Can you give me an example of when you overcame a challenging job situation?”  ”Can you tell me about a time when you ---?”
  41. 41. Extension  This is used when a responder has not given details in his answers and we want to hear more. Examples:  ”What happened after that?”  ”Can you tell me a little more about that place.”
  42. 42. Accuracy & completeness  The purpose is to check the answer against the information we already have. Examples:  ”How does that compare with the answer you gave earlier?”  ”Is there anything that you have missed out?”
  43. 43. Emotional  When we are asked an emotional question, we may answer in third person. This may be to distance ourselves from the response.  In order to clarify, that the answer is ’owned’ by the responder, we may ask: ”How did you feel about that?”
  44. 44. Evaluation  This type of question is used to get someone to rank or judge something.  Examples: ”How do you know that this is good?” ”What are the pros and cons of this?”
  45. 45. Evaluation  It is interesting to note that probing questions can also be asked by using body language.  A tilt of head or raising eyebrows shows our interest and may encourage the responder to give out more details.
  46. 46. Leading Questions  A leading question steers the responders towards a certain direction.  This type of questions are used when the questioner wants to get something confirmed..  These are commonly used in legal cases
  47. 47. Leading Questions  Examples of: a) Leading question: ”Were you at your house on 31st. night?” b) Non-leading question: ”Where were you on 31st. December night?”
  48. 48. Leading Questions  Advantage: Leading question can help you get the answer you want.  Disadvantage: Biased leading question can render your data unusable and open to question.
  49. 49. Importance of Questioning It is correctly said:  ”Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” - Voltaire (1694 – 1778)  ”It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” - James Thurber (1894 – 1961)
  50. 50. Importance of Questioning
  51. 51. Importance of Questioning
  52. 52. Importance Of Questioning
  53. 53. At the end  Please feel free to send your valuable feedback to me at:-