As told famously, “if you are asking questions, you are learning.”
Asking questions is important to gain growth in all walks of life and to communicate better.
Human brain is always curious, wanting to know more, learn more, and communicate better. If you are not asking questions, that means you are hindering your growth in both personal and professional aspects of life.
The main aim of communication is to provide clarity, and questions are a tool to gain clarity on things we don’t understand. A successful and healthy communication cycle is open to questions from all the parties involved.
The most incredible privilege we have is platforms to voice our questions in today’s world. The exchange of questions in a communication chain allows for healthier discussions, better ideas, policies, and plans. The questions raised by the current generation shape the future of upcoming generations.
Good ways to ask questions
Communication happens at its best when you have a complete end to end cycle of information exchange. Having full and complete information with you will help you make better judgement on the topic discussed. Don’t be too quick to pass any judgements without hearing the entire story or topic of discussion.
Inorder to acquire all the information you need so you can be thorough and clear, you need to ask right questions and in a timely manner with efficient and effective communication.
There are some methods to ask questions, however, the most popular and easy method is the 5W+1H method.
The 5W+1H method refers to the following question words;
- Who is it about?
- What happened?
- When did it take place?
- Where did it take place?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
This method allows one to understand a situation and its aspects completely. You have complete information on the subject if you can answer all the question words in the 5W+1H process. You may use this information to educate others or to use it yourself. This method helps analyse all the possible factors involved to come to a judgement.
Types of Questions
The questions are majorly divided into two kinds
Open-ended questions are the ones that allow free-form answers. These are descriptive-type questions. The open-ended questions have a flexible marking scheme. The solutions could include a person’s judgement along with factual data.
Open-ended questions test an individual’s answer writing skills, creativity, and knowledge. Example:
What do you think of this process?
What were your reasons for choosing our services?
Close-ended questions are rigid. They provide individuals with several alternatives from which they can choose and answer. These kinds of questions test a person’s memory, knowledge, and judgement.
Do you like this process? Yes or No.
Would you recommend our services to your friends and family? Yes or No.
Framing questions is a task of enormous responsibility. If a question is not framed correctly, you will not get correct answers which would fail in the whole process. You should prepare the questions in straightforward language. The receiver should easily interpret it, and there should not be any hidden meanings.
While framing open-ended questions, use words like why and how, etc., to understand the reasoning and psyche of the audience through answers. The questions should make candidates feel like their opinions and ideas are welcome.The questions should have a neutral tone so that the candidates can answer freely.
While setting up close-ended questions, one must be very specific and to the point. An ideal question should not have more than five alternatives, as many choices result in a conflict of interest. The questions should begin with having, will do/did to deliver a crisp and clear question for the audience to answer.
Power Words :
Critical thinking challenge question :
Create a research questionnaire using the 5W+1H technique for any problem of your interest or for the question: “Why is our education system so rigid?”
Watch this video for further learning :