Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.
Celebrating 25 years in business! CPD Member - The CPD Certification Service ilm Recognised Provider

16 Ways you can Use Questions

16 Ways You Can Use Questions

16 Ways You Can Use Questions

Asking questions is the key to good communication.

Here are 16 ways you can use questions to improve your communication skills:

  1. Gain factual information.
  2. As a greeting.
  3. As a polite request
  4. As a form of teaching. (The Socratic method of teaching)
  5. Rhetorical questions, (not meant to be answered).
  6. To cast doubt on what another has said.
  7. To gain minor agreements.
  8. To control the conversation.
  9. To evade answering a question.
  10. To introduce a presupposition.
  11. To hurt somebody's feelings.
  12. To inspire positive emotions.
  13. To trigger a new direction of thought.
  14. To discover how a person feels.
  15. To discover another person's opinion.
  16. To tell jokes.

1. Gain factual information.

The most obvious type of question is the straightforward request for information:

What is the capital city of the USA?

2. As a greeting.

How do you do?

How's it going?

3. As a form of teaching. (The Socratic method of teaching).

If all fish have scales, lay eggs and are cold blooded; then let me ask you a question:

Are dolphins' fish or are they mammals?

4. As a polite request.

This is one of my favourite phrases, because it is so polite. "Would you please, (plus a specific request)."

"Would you please, send the documents to me before the end of today? Thank you."

5. Rhetorical questions.

Questions you ask that don't require an answer.

"Why me, God?"

6. To cast doubt on what another has said.

How do you know?

Where did you get that idea from?

Are you sure about that? Because I'm not.

7. To gain minor agreements.

A favourite trick of salesman, who call these types of questions, "Yes getters".

Quality is important, isn't it?

We are all concerned with the education of our children, aren't we?

They are cool, aren't they?

8. To control the conversation.

There is a concept called, "Conversation control". And the first rule of conversation control is, "Whoever asks the questions, controls the conversation".

Think of questions as the steering wheel in your car. Questions control the direction of travel.

So, if you want to control the situation, (conversation), you do NOT have to be the one talking. You need to be the one asking the questions.

9. To evade answering a question.

Criminals and politicians don't like answering questions. So, they evade, by questioning the question.

Q: Why were you at the town hall?

A: Why do you want to know?

10. To introduce a presupposition.

Why is the Prime Minister so incompetent?

Presupposes he is incompetent; we only have to discover why?

What are the electric companies going to do about the cancer caused by their microwave ovens?

Can you see the presupposition in the above question?

11. To hurt someone's feelings.

How come you are so stupid?

Why are you so selfish?

Are you all stupid in your family, or is it just you?

12. To inspire positive emotions.

How come you are so wonderful?

Why are you so kind to me?

Are you all intelligent in your family, or is it just you?

13. To trigger a new direction of thought.

So, enough about work: Where are you planning your next holiday?

Enough about me: Lets talk about you. Do you have family living nearby?

14. To discover how a person feels.

You look very red. Are you hot?

You look very pale. Are you cold?

You are shivering. Do you want me to turn the heating up?

15. To discover another person's opinion.

Now you have read my proposal, what do you think?

Do you have any recommendations or opinions?

16. To tell jokes.

Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees?

Because they are really good at it!

Face-to-Face Training Resumes in July

We are pleased to announce that our open training courses will resume in July 2020, in Leeds, London and Birmingham venues.

Or book a course three or more months in advance and receive an early bird discount.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Communication - Clear Communication

  • Training to Improve Your Communication Skills
    People do make judgements of you, based on your appearance and what you say. In order to give the right impression, try some new ways to improve your communication skills. You will improve your confidence and gain respect in the process.
    Read Article >
  • Three ways to improve your communication skills
    How can you improve your communication skills? Communication is important to you because you use your communication to gain the cooperation of others. You need the cooperation of others: you need cooperation from your colleagues, your suppliers, your customers, and your family. If you cannot gain the cooperative assistance of others...
    Read Article >
  • How to Start a Presentation
    The start of your presentation sets the terms for the rest of the performance. If you start well, then you will probably succeed. Here are some useful tips for getting your presentation off to a good start.
    Read Article >
  • Communication Mistakes
    We are all aware of the importance of good communication in business, between colleagues as well as with clients. Take a look as these common communication mistakes and see if you need to correct any that you make.
    Read Article >
  • Top Tips to Effective Communication
    You would benefit if you improved your ability to communicate more effectively. See our top tips to improve your words, voice tone and body language. Improve your communication and improve your confidence.
    Read Article >

Looking for Communication Skills Training?

If you're looking to develop your Clear Communication Skills, you may find this Communication Skills Training Course beneficial:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

7 February
Birmingham M6 J7
£475 +VAT
27 February
London - Central
£475 +VAT
2 March
Online - Teams
£475 +VAT
6 March
Manchester City
£475 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £50 on this course

Next Open Course Starts in 7 days, Birmingham M6 J7, places available Book Now >