Skill 10. Asking Questions

  Do you know what a talk show host, a psychiatrist, and a skilled conversationalist all have in common? They all know the secret to getting others to talk—the art of asking questions.

Like a can opener, a QUESTION is the most powerful communication skill that can initiate and sustain any conversation.

A closed question elicits short answers. Did you like the movie? Are you single? and Do you exercise? are examples of closed questions that require short answers.

An open question—the Why, What, and How questions—demand more involved and detailed responses. Why did you like the movie? What do you enjoy about being single? and How do you motivate yourself to exercise? are examples of open questions.

Try asking more open questions the next time you’re having a conversation. See how your questions change the focus and the flow of the conversation. Open people up by asking them questions.

Now return to the world, think of some great questions you would love to be asked, and then ask them of others.

Skill: ASK QUESTIONS of others.

Strength and honor.