Asking the right questions yields the right information. This is critical to effective communication on call, whether with your team or with clients.
We live in a world with multiple channels and sources that lead to an ocean of information. But the relevance, validity, and reliability of this information are only as strong as the questions asked about them. The element of asking questions is one of the most useful communication tools that anyone and everyone should have in their toolkit. It results in one becoming a more connected and genuine communicator, making it a very important art to master.
Why ask questions?
Like the extra blade in a Swiss Army knife, an appropriate question asked at the right time can achieve a variety of goals that pertain to communication. This ranges from building trust and motivation in teams, to keeping participants engaged on call.
The biggest purpose to start with in a corporate context is the acquisition of information.
“What’s the status on the corporate pitch deck presentation?”
You asked a question to know something, and you got the information you needed. The second one is to building relationships. Asking people questions is a step towards your networking with them; you are able to know more about them. And of course, they get to know about you, too. You can also ask questions to generate ideas and foster creativity. In the current age of prolonged remote working with communication mostly run by conference calls, this is of the essence. This therefore begs the next question.
What are the right questions to ask?
Asking the appropriate questions comes down to 3 simple techniques:
1. Asking Open Questions
Open questions are those that start with “how”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “who” or “why”. Basically, these cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. In a group call you are likely to use open questions when:
- You want to help change the mindset of those you’re on call with.
- You want to better understand what your teammate(s) are saying.
- You want to show interest (in a sales call for instance) what the client has to say.
2. Tell, Explain, Describe (TED)
Doing these three aspects help pinpoint relevant insights from responses that your team members or clients might give. They therefore can work well when used between open and closed questions. Some examples of TED questions include:
- Tell me, how will that impact you?
- Tell me, has this occurred before?
- Explain to me, how did this situation first start?
- Explain to me, what difficulties did you face?
- Describe how it looks.
- Describe your ideal outcome.
3. Flow with the answers
The key to effective questioning that doesn’t involve asking, is listening! By listening to answers you also have time to structure and formulate what your next question will be.
This will also allow you to ensure that your line of questioning has a natural flow and doesn’t end up sounding like something rehearsed or out of a checklist. But of course, skillsets come with the right tools too.
Bearing this in mind, MultiCall is a calling app that allows group collaboration, be it your friends, family, or even your office team. Here are some more guides to help you adhere to ensuring that you’re asking the right questions: