Questions can be one of the most powerful tools you can use when meeting and talking to other people. No matter what the setting – a business meeting, a social setting, or a chance meeting, your ability to ask good questions is incredibly valuable. By asking people the right questions, you can lead the conversation, and you can influence others by shaping their thoughts and opinions.
Here are examples of open ended questions
- How do you feel about ____?
- What do you think about ____?
- What do you like about _____?
- Why is ____ important to you?
- How do you _____?
Here are some examples of controlling questions and statements:
- Don’t you agree that ____?
- How could anyone think ____ was a good idea?
- ____, don’t you think?
- In my judgement, ____
By using different types of open ended and probing questions, you are passively controlling the conversation. You let others talk about their thoughts and feelings and you’re challenging them to show their hand first. When you have that information, you can continue the conversation with controlling questions, and many times, people do not want to have a conflict so they will move toward your point of view. Once you get them going in your direction, you can continue to steer the conversations.
Let us know how these work for you in the comments below, and post questions that have worked great for you.