In part one of How To Ask Great Questions for Great Learning and Great Leadership, we explored two things to that help in asking questions. Read the post here.
Great questions are the basis for great learning. Consider them as tools. Tools are only as effective as how well they are maintained and used. The more skill full the user the more he can get out of them.
Let’s continue with how to ask great questions:
One of the greatest mistakes most make when the ask questions is to start answering the question, themselves, before the person they are asking does. The problem with this is that it channels the one being asked on how to answer the question.
Assuming the person being asked has better knowledge about something you’re most likely to miss out on an opportunity of great learning. This is because answering before you give opportunity to the interview is a little short of putting an answer in their mouth.
Ask your question, shut up and give the one you’re asking space to respond.
Don’t be that jerk who poses a question to a panel and answers it himself. To take it further, he gives reasons why he answers the way he does, leaving the room with awkward silence and the panel wondering what they should do.
The goal of asking questions should be to learn not show off how smart you think you are.
Another way to ask great questions, especially after listening to someone, is to first consider the implications of what they have said. When you hit a wall on in some of the possible implications that is the question pose out audibly.
What you want to do in asking great questions is ask questions you either cannot answer easily or not at all.
What’s the point of asking a question that you already have the answer to?! This sounds rather redundant but you’d be shocked at the number of people I’ve encountered at workshops I’ve facilitated that ask questions they already know the answer to.
It is a different story, of course, if it is not obvious to you that you know the answer. The issue is just asking questions to fill the room with some noise.
What are some of the most useless questions you’ve heard asked?