How to Approach Questions Strategically in Business

Asking questions is a particularly effective method for unlocking value in businesses because it promotes communication and learning, encourages creativity and performance enhancement, and fosters rapport and trust amongst team members.

Additionally, it helps reduce corporate risk by revealing hidden traps and dangers. However, few business leaders view questioning as a skill that can be developed or examine how their own responses to questions could improve interactions.

Some people have no trouble asking questions. The right question is always on the tip of their tongue due to their inherent curiosity, emotional intelligence, and aptitude for reading others. However, most of us don’t ask enough questions or pose them in the best way.

The good news is that we naturally develop our emotional intelligence by asking questions, which results in a positive feedback loop whereby we become better questioners. In this article, we explore how the questions and responses we give to others might affect the course of discussions by drawing on findings from behavioural science research.

In order to get the most out of our interactions—for both us and our organisations—we provide advice on the appropriate type, tone, sequencing, and structuring of inquiries as well as what and how much information to disclose.

You won’t get if you don’t ask.

Why do we hold back so much? There are numerous causes. It’s possible for someone to be egocentric and eager to impress others with their own ideas, tales, and thoughts (and not even think to ask questions). It’s possible that they are apathetic; they don’t care enough to inquire or think the responses will bore them. They might have an overinflated sense of their own intelligence and believe they already know the solutions (which sometimes they do, but usually not).

Perhaps they fear that if they ask the wrong question, others will think they are impolite or stupid. However, we believe that the main barrier is that the majority of people don’t realise the value of excellent questioning. If they did, they would use more commas and significantly fewer periods to conclude sentences.