Being a great communicator includes asking questions to gain more information. It demonstrates to the person speaking that we are listening and engaged with what the other person is saying. It is also a way of showing that we are curious and interested in what the other person is saying.
Since this is a core part of communication and rapport with other people, I believe this is a great topic to be aware of within this skill set. Since I am reviewing certain TED talks in my blogs, it was fortuitous that I found thais excellent TED Talk by Dan Moulthrop on “The Art of Asking Questions”.
Dan has an unorthodox way of delivering his TED Talk: there are various rules and I love the fact his delivery style is authentic and he is engaging with the audience in the room as if it is an interactive lecture. But what he has to say, and the information he shares is truly inspirational and invaluable. Watch below.
Dan states that asking questions comes from curiosity of the world, a situation, history or person. He shares 8 ways to ask good questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How often do we keep quiet when we are desperate to have some information! Ask. Go on! And people do want to talk about their experiences.
Be curious about the world and other people’s experiences.
Ask the obvious question. How did that make you feel? is a far more interesting question than asking for some details.
The way you ask the question, and the words you use are really important. They can demonstrate empathy towards the person you are asking the questions to.
Do your homework before asking questions of a person. If the information is already in the public domain, why ask the question?? This is particularly relevant for asking questions in meetings, or in particular asking famous people questions!
Be simple with your questions; a long complicated question is not as effective as a short, concise question.
The question “Why” is very effective.
And finally: always be sincere!