Saturday, December 21, 2013

How to ask the right questions - and minimise what is lost in translation

I just stumbled this article which is great. Written by Shane Snow at the Fast Company.

Basically it's about "How to ask the right questions?"

He goes in detail on some of the tips below which helps you to frame your questions in the right way to solicit the right responses.

I guess it takes time and practice, but here is a quick list of them. It's best to read the details with it on the article.

  • Don't ask multiple-choice questions
  • Interject with questions when necessary
  • Field non-answers by reframing questions later
  • Repeat answers back for clarification or more detail
  • Don’t be embarrassed


Here's his summary as well. I think the body language aspects of what he is saying is important, particularly to stop nodding if you don't understand. As sometimes we want to give the impression we understand, but really it doesn't do anyone any favours when you do. I generally like to ask questions to align understanding of words, phrases, and sentences, even it makes me look a little silly. As meanings can be easily lost in translation.

  • Don't ramble on -terminate the sentence at the question mark.
  • Get comfortable with silence.
  • Start with "who, what, when, where, how, or why" for more meaningful answers.
  • Don't fish for the answer you want.
  • Stop nodding if you don't understand-ask a follow-up instead.
  • If you get a non-answer, approach it again from a different angle.
  • Rephrase the answer in your own words.
  • Don't be afraid to ask dumb questions.

9 questions for you to help focus your thoughts and change the way you live your life

Here's 9 questions for you to help focus your thoughts and change the way you live your life 

These questions help you challenge your current thoughts and focus on what is really important in my life.
The first one below is one that was used in a Youth Leadership I participated in four years ago. Some of these questions work in it help you to visualise where you want to see yourself and to work backwards from there, so that the actions you make today and tomorrow will help you reach that goal.

"What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?"
"Do I truly value my closest relationships?"
"How can I add more value to other people?"
"Who can I encourage?"
"What do I have to be thankful for?"
"What do I need to let go of?"
"What fears do I need to overcome?"
"What is one thing I can do right now to make the situation better?"
"Who do I admire most?"

More details on this yahoo blog written by Daniel Wong. Happy reading and thinking!

Source: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/9-questions-change-life-080503097.html  @yahoosg