Questioning techniques: You should know them

Asking questions is often wrongly equated with ignorance. We know from Sesame Street: Who does not ask remains stupid ... . Special questioning techniques can guide and direct a conversation, influence the course, or prevent the conversation from spinning in circles. For a good reason it says: who asks, who leads. However, this opportunity often remains unused. We show you how you can use specific questioning techniques in a targeted manner to steer discussions and discussions in the desired direction ...

Questioning techniques: You should know them
Contents: That's what you'll find in this article

Questioning techniques are useful in many situations
The most important questioning techniques
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Questioning techniques are useful in many situations
Questioning techniques are often associated with senior executives . They are used to guide employees, to receive information, to prepare final or annual interviews or to get an overview of all the events in the department.

However, the benefit of questioning techniques should not be limited exclusively to supervisors. Employees also benefit from not just attending conversations, but taking them into their own hands, influencing and directing them - in different situations.

Above all, it helps in dealing with the boss . These usually have more experience in the conversation and are trained in part. If you know question techniques yourself, you can not only apply them, but also see through your boss's techniques and respond accordingly.

But even talking to customers, suppliers or other employees can be an advantage, not just being a quiet listener , but an active designer.

The most important questioning techniques
It is not possible to say at a glance which questioning technique is the best or the most promising one. This depends on several different factors . Your relationship with the conversation partner, the initial situation, your goal, the past conversation, but of course the procedure you have chosen to enforce your interests or receive as much information as possible.

So with a single questioning technique, you'll quickly reach your limits - to really use questions and benefit from them, you need a larger supply of questioning techniques to draw on.

Basically, the questioning techniques can be divided into two major areas , both of which can have their own advantages and disadvantages:

The closed questions
These are classic yes or no questions . The questioned is left by the formulation of the question no choice but to answer succinctly. With closed questions, information can be requested quickly and in rapid succession, but they are also suitable for directing a conversation.

The open questions
The opposite is the open questions, where the design of the answer is freer and more flexible. Among the open questions are the well-known W-questions - who, how, what, why, where, why, when ... The person in question can go further in his answers, go into detail and explain in detail his opinion, his arguments or his knowledge , Open questions are therefore particularly useful to learn as much as possible and to let the other person tell his page.

However, these are only generic categories that can be used in different ways, and many more are questioning techniques. We will introduce you to the most important ones that you can incorporate into your language to cleverly but effectively steer a conversation. But remember, it's not about simply putting one questioning technique at the other. This works memorized and is probably immediately noticeable.

It therefore takes some practice until the questioning techniques naturally enter into a conversation. Begin by selecting individual ones and scattering them one by one, but in a targeted manner. This will improve you over time.

Question Technique: Entry Questions
Sometimes it may be appropriate or even necessary, but usually it is not recommended to fall into the house right at the door . With a beginner's question the less offensive entry into a conversation succeeds. For example, you can ask which topic is on the agenda, what concerns your interviewee has on his heart or what you can do to help.

This is nice because you do not impose a topic of conversation on anyone , but it puts you in a position where you direct the conversation. You will learn what your counterpart expects, what topics are important and what you should address.

Question Technique: Hypothetical questions
Hypothetical questions go a little deeper into the rhetoric. The point is to dare a thought experiment or to create a theoretical target state. While a hypothetical question will not find a direct answer or solution to an existing problem, it can help broaden the horizons and find hitherto undiscovered approaches.

An exemplary hypothetical question would be about how would you proceed if you had unlimited money available? Although this is initially a rhetorical gimmick that can not be implemented in reality, it can bring new ideas.

Question Technique: Paradox questions
Even paradoxical questions aim at a more creative solution and should allow new perspectives on problems. It sounds - as the name implies - paradoxical, but it may be useful to reverse the question . Rather than just looking for what will bring an improvement to the situation, factors should be identified that could make things worse.

The classic of this questioning technique is How could you completely ruin the project? The goal is to deduce what needs to be done in order to be successful in the end.

Question Technique: Questions
A fairly simple but nevertheless effective questioning technique is often forgotten: questions. Do not just leave the answers of your interlocutor standing, but go back to them, ask in detail, ask for explanations or further explanations.

By asking questions, you can learn much more than the first answer revealed. At the same time, they prevent you from believing stories or information that does not or only partially matches the truth.

Question Technique: Circular Questions
Circular questions are not intended to keep you spinning in circles, but to allow a change of perspective to get a new perspective on things. Sometimes your own point of view is very cramped and it can help to look through someone else's eyes.

What would XY say about that? or even if you were your boss, how would you act in this situation? are examples of circular questions. They bring the interlocutor to consider other opinions and to question their own behavior from the outside .

Question Technology: Questions of the future
Every discussion should contain at least one question of the future, because without this questioning technique it is difficult to achieve a real result and come to a solution. Questions of the future are concerned with what needs to be done next and should lead to a concrete action .

If you are discussing a project with a colleague, then at some point you should ask the question: and how do we proceed now? Only in this way can all theory provide a real plan for the future.

Question Technique: Feelings
Human interaction is more than just facts, data, words, and numbers. Emotions and emotions play an important role and should therefore also be taken into account in questioning techniques. Take a look at the emotional life of your interlocutor , inquire as to how he is doing and what worries him.

Such emotional questions should not be pure hypocrisy, but serious concern . So a real connection based on mutual trust can emerge .

Question technique: justification questions
It is easy to tell what was done or what decisions were made. Much more important, however, are usually the reasons behind the respective behavior . Justification questions aim precisely at this and make the other person reflect on his actions and disclose motives.

Even a simple question can be enough. Why? Seriously meant and demanded with vigor, this questioning technique calls for a real justification, which is also comprehensible for outsiders.

Question Technique: Comparison Questions
Especially with problems, it is often an important step to really become aware of the extent . Since this is not easy with complex topics, a simple comparison can help to get a better overview of the situation.

Use an already solved problem as a comparison value and ask how bad the current concern is in comparison. It can also be helpful to rate the topic on a scale of 1 to 10.

Question Technique: Solution-oriented questions
Solutions often fail for one simple reason: they are not talked about at all . Instead, it's all about the problem, about difficulties and challenges. Solution-oriented questions change this and force us to really think about problem-solving.

For this questioning technique very direct questions can be used, such as which solution proposals are there? That draws attention in the right direction. But it can also be asked a little more subtle. So what may have changed since everything has worked smoothly? the decisive conclusion to the solution arises.

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