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Are you ever frustrated by the weak answers you get from customers and clients, or from your boss or your boss’s business associates? Perhaps you sometimes receive none at all. It can be very frustrating when you receive poor or no answers. It can make you feel as if others are not taking you seriously.
Often, we get weak answers because we are asking the wrong questions. Secretary Today explains to you how to ask the “right” questions, and shows you how to turn bad or weak questions into good and strong ones, giving others a better chance to give you the answers you need.
1 Ask open-ended questions
These are questions that require a detailed answer, and cannot be simply
replied to with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or other one-word response. They are questions
that ask what, why and how. The respondent has no alternative but
to provide some detail.
- Why is the price so much higher than the price for the other equipment?
- Why is that report not finished yet?
2 Ask open opportunity questions
Open opportunity questions invite others to participate and offer not just information but also views of their own.
- What do you think of this option as a solution?
- Do you have any suggestions about this?
3 Ask leading questions
As the name suggests, this is the kind of question where you try to lead
the other person to accept your point of view.
- If you look at all the advantages, don’t you think this is the best way forward?
- Having looked at the disadvantages, don’t you think we should change our plans?
4 Ask sequential questions
Sometimes, it can be useful to ask a series of questions that lead up to a particular result or conclusion.
- So you can complete the first phrase now, right? And how long will it take you to do the second one?
- We can look at the figures now, yes? And when will you be available to do the layout?