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Master the art of asking questions

by on
in Firing,Human Resources

Often, asking pointed questions is the only way you can learn what you need to know.

What you find out depends on your questions, so:
  • Set your objective. Are your questions trying to help you decide something, uncover a fact or reach some other goal? Decide on your goal first, then structure your questions.
  • Ask one at a time. When you ask two-parters (“How do you propose to move ahead, and how will you deal with John?”), people tend to answer only the easier query.
  • Don’t flaunt your authority. Sitting behind your desk and firing questions equals interrogation. Better: Sit in a visitor’s chair next to the person you are questioning to promote the feeling that you’re on his or her “side.”
  • Ask permission when entering sensitive areas. Saying “Would you mind telling me about ...?” is not only polite, it builds trust that leads to better responses.

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