On the fifth installment of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield advises us on what he considers to be the most effective ways to ask a question with 5 helpful tips.
Tristan: What’s going on, y’all? It’s Tristan from Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. Today we’re going to discuss how to properly ask questions. Have you ever asked a question and gotten a response that doesn’t make sense? The issue may not lie with the other person but in the way you asked your question. Questions are the cornerstone of communication, and yet many of us don’t frame or ask our questions appropriately. Questions allow you to learn, get answers, give answers, mentor people, and ultimately develop a reputation, but that’s all only if you utilize them correctly. So here’s a few tips on how to ask great questions. Number one, try to stick to one sentence. You may have to give some background, which is okay, but try to limit the actual question to a single sentence. This helps in keeping your questions open-ended. Number two, don’t offer answers unless those are truly the only options. In doing so, you limit the other person, which you never want to do, because I can guarantee you’ve only thought about a few of the possible options. Number three, try not to sway the other person. While you may know the answer, your questions should be answer-neutral, allowing the person to answer them naturally. Number four, keep your talking to a minimum. The entire essence of a great question is to find out what the other person knows. If you ask the question in the right manner, you’ll probably learn something. Number five, rinse and repeat for follow-up questions. Keep them neutral, open-ended, and as brief as possible. Asking better questions almost always results in better outcomes. Incorporate these tips when asking questions and start getting the answers that you’re seeking. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.