Questions have the power to uncover solutions. But only the right ones asked at the right time and under the right circumstances result in the right answers that lead to discovery, understanding, and closure.

What if the reason we’re not getting the right answers is that we haven’t been asking the right questions? Here are the different kinds of questions. Have you been asking the right ones?

Strategic Questions

Strategic questions aim to reveal the bigger picture. They can be presented in a series of questions to understand long-term goals better. They are delivered in simple successions to build up to the purpose.

Confrontational Questions

Confrontational questioning aggressively demands answers and therefore, may result in interruption and accusations. They aim to shut down evasive responses by being worded in a way that they can only be answered with a yes or no.

Empathy Questions

Empathy questions invite people to open up. These types of questions come in the form of invitations for people to engage and reveal their emotions. Listening with sincerity should follow empathy questions which strengthen the communication.

Bridging Questions

Bridging questions coax information out of those who don’t want to open up. They’re best delivered without a question mark, so they don’t feel threatening or part of an interrogation. Empathy questions come in the guise of simple phrases, but they are really meant to lower the guard of the person being questioned and keep them talking until they reveal something worthwhile.

Diagnostic Questions

Diagnostic questions aim to get to the root of the problem. They intend to zero in by asking specifics. They are so direct that they may explore the ugly and uncomfortable; however, direct questions mean direct answers.

Mission Questions

Mission questions prompt people to realize their next steps. They’re asked to remind people of their priorities, helping people recognize what they truly care about and what motivates their passions.

Creativity Questions

Creativity questioning invites the imagination to go wild, crazy ideas to come to mind. They encourage people to explore possibilities beyond rationality and reason.

Legacy Questions

Legacy questions dig deep as they can be spiritual or existential. A properly asked legacy question can lead people to explore the meaning of their lives. It guides people to think about their place and purpose, reflecting on their achievements and failures and if they have contributed anything meaningful to the world.

Interview Questions

The goal of interview questions is to understand as much about the person as possible. The questions are often not random as their goal is to determine if a person is the right fit, shows potential, meets requirements.

Entertaining Questions

Entertaining questions invite engagement. They are exciting, funny, and lively. They can be spur-of-the-moment questions to tie in with the changing mood of the audience or as a way to set the pace.

Scientific Questions

Scientific questioning aims to build logic around a problem. The answers are often facts or assumptions based on data and experimentation.

Because knowledge is power and only by asking the right questions can you gain better understanding, asking the right questions at the right time is a critical skill for leadership. If you want to learn more about how to identify what type of question is fitting for specific situations, I can help you make sense of it all. I empower leaders through executive coaching and leadership support services. Let’s connect: greg@inscapeconsulting.com

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