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How to Ask the Right Questions - Good Communication Skills

How to Ask the Right Questions - Good communication skills

How to Ask the Right Questions

Good communication is not just about the proper presentation of ideas. Good communication also means developing the ability to ask the right questions.

How can you know what are the right questions? Simple. Learn the following method.

Essentially there are two sets of questions that you should think about.

  • Set one: A set of questions that relate to people, things and ideas. (ie the subjects and objects of sentences).
  • Set two: A set of questions that relate to verbs, (verbs are words denoting actions, or states).

Set one questions are Adjective questions. Set two questions are Adverb questions.

Have a look at the simple sentence in this diagram. The men ate the cakes

Communication - Clear Communication : How to Ask the Right Questions - Good communication skills

The set one questions are:

  • Which ones?
  • What kind?
  • Whose?
  • How many?

These questions apply to subjects and objects of sentences.

On the other hand, set two questions relate to the verbs of sentences. The set two questions (Adverb questions are):

  • Where?
  • How?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • For what purpose?
  • For what causes?

Learn these two lists of questions. Whenever you listen or read something, find the "doer" of the sentence and apply the set one questions.

Then find the verb, or action, of the sentence and apply the set two questions.

Look at this easy example: The bird is singing in the tree.

  • Which bird?
  • What kind of bird?
  • How many birds?
  • Whose bird?

The bird is singing in the tree.

  • Where is it singing?
  • How is it singing?
  • When is it singing
  • Why is it singing?
  • For what purpose is it singing?
  • What caused it to sing?

The bird is singing in the tree.

  • Which tree?
  • What kind of tree?
  • How many trees?
  • Whose tree?

This simple system of asking questions is easy. Learn it, apply it and you will get great results.

16 Ways You Can Use Questions (blog)

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About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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