HOW TO:

PROMPT NEW THINKING THRU BETTER QUESTIONS

BACKGROUND

Great questions are the starting point for thinking and seeing in new ways, and igniting new possibilities. Yet too often, we ask the kind of questions to validate what we think we already know. They’re the kind of obvious questions that yield obvious answers. But better questions:

  • are in and of themselves more thoughtful and thought-provoking
  • have the power to get people thinking and seeing in new ways
  • provide richer perspectives and reveal new possibilities
  • can be the first step in bringing about change

PUTTING QUESTIONS TO WORK

STEP OUTSIDE

Imagine it’s your first day on the job. And that you’ve just arrived from an outside industry. Not being incumbered by the supposed rules of the road, you’re much more apt to see things with a fresh set of eyes and challenge preconceived notions that others take for granted.

ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

Yes or no questions don’t require much thought, and don’t shed much light on a particular problem. Open-ended questions, on the hand, require us to dig deeper into the true nature of the situation. They’re questions that usually begin with Why, How, Imagine, or What.

DON’T FISH

Poor questions are leading ones – the questions where you’re fishing for a particular answer. Avoid those at all costs if you really need to uncover the true nature of a situation.

IMITATE THE FAMOUS

You must have a favorite interviewer. Someone who asks the perfect, probing questions. The ones people can’t hide behind. Imitate them. Become their student.

THINK ABOUT COMPETITIVE AGENDAS

Imagine competitors working on similar projects to gauge whether you’ve uncovered something truly transformational or not.

PREPARE

Think back to your first job interview. Presumedly you anticipated and prepared. Framing a beautiful question requires that same focus. It will win you the respect of others and allow you to see beyond the same horizon that everyone else sees.

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Founded in 1999, Trajectory is the specialist branding and marketing agency partnering with clients across the health + wellness continuum to grow better business. Reach us at 973-292-1400. trajectory4brands.com.