How Can You Become a Better Questioner?

Here are 8 quick tips to increase your I.Q. (Inquiry Quotient).

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  1. Questioners pay close attention to the world around them. They watch and try to notice details others miss. They listen closely to what others are saying, which helps them understand what questions to ask.
  2. Questioners don’t assume or accept (as in, “that’s the just the way things are.”). They ask, “Why are things that way?”
  3. Questioners are unafraid to ask the most basic questions—even if some people may think those questions are obvious or naïve. Asking the fundamental questions can help the questioner to challenge assumptions.
  4. Questioners dig deep. They use follow-up questions (such as asking “5 whys”) to get to the real heart of the matter.
  5. Questioners use their imagination to pose “What if” questions that open up fresh new possibilities and ideas. (What if we look at this upside down? What if we combine X and Y?)
  6. Questioners share their questions with others—to get help and ideas from people who are interested in the same question. (How might we figure this out together?)
  7. Questioners don’t always expect to get answers right away. Sometimes you must “live with” an important question—and spend time thinking about it, working on it, grappling with it.
  8. Questioners move from asking to action. Start with Why, move to What if, and try to get to How—as in, How can we do something, anything, that will help us get a little closer to an answer?

» Related article: Easy Ways to Improve a Question

» Wondering where you stand with your Inquiry Quotient? Take the quick quiz.

» Do these exercises to become a better questioner.

 


 

 

 

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