Questioning Skills help engage and develop relationships
Questions are a powerful way of:
Learning – Asking open and closed questions and use probing questioning to discover information on a subject.
Relationship building – Most of us love to talk about ourselves and share our opinions. These answers can give us great insight into who they are and what they believe.
Managing and coaching – Rhetorical and leading questions can be useful to get someone to reflect and to commit to a course of action.
Clarify understanding – Probing questions help us avoid misunderstanding.
Defuse a heated situation – giving them a platform to share their grievance can often calm an angry customer. This will often help you to identify a practical step you can take to make them feel that they have achieved something.
Persuasion – None of us likes to be lectured, but when we are asked a series of open questions we can begin to come around to a different point of view.
Closed Questions (limits Questioning skills)
Closed questions invite a short focused answer, YES or NO type of answers. Closed questions often reduce the flow of conversation. e.g. ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’
Closed questions can be used to discover specific information e.g. ‘What is your name?’, or ‘Where did you go to University?’ but do not stimulate conversation.
Open questions allow for much longer responses and therefore potentially more detail, creativity and information. e.g. ’How are you getting on with the new finance system?’
Questions can also be categorised by whether they are ‘recall’ (requiring memory), or ‘process’ (requiring some analysis or thought).
Questioning skills for relationship building at work
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