Questions That Work: How to Ask Questions That Will Help You Succeed in Any Business Situation

By Andrew Finlayson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Learning a Skill

To be or not to be that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind
to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take up arms
against a sea of troubles, and by opposing them, end them.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, HAMLET

As with any skill, you can learn questioning by chance experience or by organized study. Those who focus on studying any discipline master a broader range of skills more quickly and find greater opportunities. Ask yourself this: who taught you how to ask questions? You might answer, no one. Unless you went to law school or studied philosophy, chances are you learned how to ask questions from the examples of parents and friends. This might be all the expertise you need if you want to be like your parents or friends. When you look around, you realize everyone has questioning patterns of varying degrees of effectiveness. How can you ask better questions?You need to study the art and the artists if you want to be more positive, precise and persuasive in your questions. The key is to consciously observe how those you respect conduct themselves:
▪ Are they graceful when meeting new people? Chances are they impressed you with their sincere way of showing interest in the other person, an attitude created by the positive questions they asked.
▪ Do they get things done? Chances are they use positive questions to zero in on the matter at hand.
▪ Are they known for taking quick action on issues? Chances are they have the right information to make a thoughtful decision, insights created by the positive questions they asked.
▪ Are they at ease with themselves when facing new situations? Chances are even if they know little about the challenge they are facing, they are comfortable with how they will approach it. They know the positive questions they will ask, and they are comfortable taking action.

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