Dig Deep Using the 3 Kinds of Open Questions

March 22, 2013

Other Sample Open Questions
  1. Why do you feel that way?
  2. Why do you think this occurred?
  3. Why are we considering Tokyo for our factory site?
  4. Why should we choose this vendor over the other one?
  5. Why did the machine fail?
  6. Tell me how this works.
  7. Tell me about a typical project life cycle.
  8. Tell me about our market share and what we need to do to increase it.
  9. Tell me about your key concerns with this deadline.
  10. Tell us about our alternatives.
  11. Describe how you see this project unfolding.
  12. Describe what happened.
  13. Describe the key features of our competitors’ products.
  14. Let’s talk about the differences between version 2.0 and version 2.1.
  15. Let’s talk about your understanding of senior management’s directive.
  16. Compare and contrast the two top alternatives.

 Adapted with permission of the publisher from The Communication Problem Solver by Nannette Rundle Carroll © 2009, published by AMACOM, division of American Management Association, New York, NY.  All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Nannette Rundle Carroll views management challenges as communication opportunities. For over 20 years, her powerful management seminars have helped participants use process skills to solve people problems. With this knowledge, managers can implement lasting solutions and build relationships. Her background as Director of Management Development/ Training for a Fortune 100 global division gives her a uniquely helpful perspective on aligning process, project and people management. Nannette is on the American Management Association Faculty. She is also a member of the National Speakers Association and is a certified Executive Presentation Skills expert.

One Comment »

  1. avatar

    I like these lists, I guess it comes down to thinking in a more expansive way about how to get info from someone.
    The one that annoys me is when I am asked something like “why DON’T you like…” or: “why DIDN’T it occur to you to…” I cannot explain why I do not like something (which is different from why I actually DISLIKE it) or did not do it (if it never occurred to me). It’s like saying why don’t you have wings, or 7 arms or something. There is no answer. But people love to ask these kinds of questions! What they actually want is for me to explain myself from their perspective. Sorry, can’t be done.
    So, remember to consider how your point of view affects things while framing your questions.

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