Hi. It’s Stacey Ashley here, and this week I’ve got the fabulous job of being able to work with some really experienced coaches and taking their coaching to the next level. It’s just reminded me of something that I wanted to share from a webinar a couple of weeks ago.
In this webinar about when to coach in the workplace, one of the participants asked me, “What’s an example of a killer question?”. I thought that question was actually really great, and so I want to share with you, what I think are three of the most important things to help you craft a killer question.
The first one is that when you’re asking your questions, ask them with the intent to actually listen to the answer. Everyone can tell if you’re not interested, or you’re just filling in time. Rather than give them that experience, really ask a question that you’re interested in and you really do want to find out that information. Asking with the intent to listen to the answer. That’s the first thing.
The second thing is ask your question with purpose. What is it that you’re trying to do with this question? What is it that is important? Examples of purpose for your question might be:
- to gather information, or to elicit information.
- It might be to get validation, or confirmation.
- Another purpose might be to create something, to tap into someone’s creativity.
When you craft your question, be clear about your purpose, because that will help you come up with the language that’s going to support that purpose.
Then, the third thing in creating a killer question is to be specific. A general question gets you general answers. A specific question gets you specific answers. If you want to ask the right question, at the right time, with the right answer, then ask a specific question. What do I mean by that? “How was the meeting?” Will get you, “Fine.” “Good.” “Okay.” General question, general answer. “What was the decision about the implementation date for project Fairy Floss?” Will get you a specific answer. You get your question answered, you get the information that you’re actually looking for
Those three things make sure that you’re going to listen to the answer. Ask the question with the intent to listen to the answer. Be clear about your purpose and craft your language accordingly, and then ask a specific question, so you get a specific answer, will help you to craft killer questions.
This is Stacey Ashley, and I’d love to hear some of your killer questions.