Good questions stimulate good conversations, clarify clients’ needs and enable better advice. But a friend has reminded me that while asking leading questions (so as to receive the answer I hope for) may be intellectually satisfying, it is unlikely to ascertain facts or improve the quality of my advice. It doesn’t foster true conversations.
Asking truly ‘open’ questions is not easy. Doing it well is quite a skill. (I’m working at it.) We all know it’s much easier to ask questions which trigger a “Yes/No” answer.
Helpfully, I also received some good advice from that friend: if you want to get better at asking “open” questions, practise on children! Please try it and let me know what you think.
(To see a journalist insist on a straight answer to her question from a politician and then be startled by the response – copy and paste this into your browser :