Ship30for30 Day 16 - What's better than 'no'?

Tue, Mar 2, 2021 2-minute read

What’s better than “no”? Verb-led questions are great for getting a yes, no, or maybe.

What if we want more than yes, no, or maybe?

Interrogative-led questions give the other person a chance to provide more information. These are questions starting with: Who, what, when, where, why, how, or which. Typically, these questions require in-depth answers beyond yes, no, or maybe.

These questions help us help the other person process and clarify their thoughts and intentions by providing a safe space, and by being interested in understanding their views and problems.

A few examples of interrogative-led questions:

  • When did the problem start?
  • What’s important about this date?
  • What challenges are you facing?

Open questions help us to better understand the vision and goals of other people; instead of convincing someone to accept our ideas and goals, questions allow us to find their current place, then work together toward a solution, and they reveal new information.

A few quick questions tips:

  • Don’t ask a question, then clarify the question. This is a setup for problems. Ask a question, then wait for an answer; use the answer from the question to create the next question.
  • Don’t ask several questions in a row.
  • Don’t answer your own question.
  • Be careful with “why” questions. Why questions can feel accusatory and cast blame if not executed well. I say stay away unless there is not a different framing.

What’s better than “No”? Gaining more information and understanding of the other person to reach a shared understanding and goal.