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TYPES OF QUESTIONS - COACHING CHAPTER 6

Types of questions

There are different types of questions. Which type is most suitable depends on your goal and the situation. An experienced questioner switches according to the situation between the different types of questions.

Open questions

With open questions you let the other person talk without reservation. You gather broad, general information and because you give the other space, open questions are great for creating a good relationship. A disadvantage may be that open questions take a lot of time (specially if the other person keeps talking) and that it is difficult to remember all information and to send the conversation.

Example open question:

- How is it at work?
- What keeps you busy?

Closed questions

When you need specific information, ask closed questions . Closed questions limit the answer options. They are suitable if you want to collect specific information in a short period of time.

Example closed question:

- What do you like the most about your work, project A or B?
- Are you for or against a 40-hour week?

Suggestive questions

A special category is the suggestive question : the desired answer already sounds in your question. Suggestive questions are generally not recommended. But sometimes they can be useful, for example if you want to persuade the other person or if you want confirmation of a common goal. It is problematic if you are not aware of your suggestive question. In that case you do not know whether you have received a socially desirable answer.

Example suggestive question:

- We are here to help you perform better?
- Do not you think that this machine is the solution for your household stress?

Pitfalls

Those who watch or listen to interviews on TV and radio know what can go wrong. We annoy ourselves blue to interviewers who give the other little or too much space. Do we do it better ourselves?

Watch for these pitfalls:
- Subjectively proceeding
Give direction to answers, interpret what the other person has said, suggest a certain answer, criticize the other (verbally or non-verbally).
- Not delimiting the subject
Continuing on sidewalks causing the actual topic to be neglected and the conversation going in all directions.
- Unclear questions
There is usually no clear answer to wooly or difficult questions. This is also the case if the pace is too high, or if several questions are asked at the same time. Often, these uncertainties are the result of poor preparation.
- Inadequate attunement to the other
Continuing to be painful, asking questions about things that have already been said, reacting negatively to answers or the questioner who decays in a monologue. Each and every one of them pitfalls in making calls. Those who do not listen well and who do not coordinate adequately with the interlocutor, lack information and, in the worst case, miss out on the board completely.

Another model for different types of questions is the taxonomy of Bloom .


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