This is the fifth and final blog in a series of five that explore the art of asking the proper question. In this blog I offer some final points to consider in enhancing your questioning skills.

Making progress

To feel more confident in the art of asking questions, you need to practice, practice and practice some more! This might mean taking time to prepare for an upcoming conversation and think about some possible questions that might be helpful. However, take care to hold this list lightly. If you are too focused on asking the next ‘right’ question, you won’t be able to hear what the other person is saying, and may miss vital information and insights that could have led to a ‘better’ question and better solutions.

Don’t be tempted to rush into asking another question when there is a pause in the conversation. In your haste to fill the gap, you may not select the best question to move forward. Sitting with the silence can also allow a moment of reflection for you, and the other person, which may generate answers (or questions) that weren’t available a moment ago, and open up the conversation in a way you hadn’t thought possible (Tighe, 2011, Greene & Grant, 2003).

Set yourself small and achievable goals in asking the proper question, according to your current capacity and confidence. Take time after the conversation to reflect on what happened, what you did that worked well, and what you might do differently next time. Take note of and celebrate your achievements along the way, and build on this success as you continue to enhance your skill level.

References

Greene, J. & Grant, A. M. (2003). Solution-focused Coaching: Managing people in a complex world. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Tighe, L. (2011). The Answer: Improve Your Life By Asking Better Questions. [eBook]. Published by eBookIt.com.

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