Power of Open Questions
The quality of our thinking depends on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. Therefore by extension, the quality of thinking of our team members depends on the quality of questions we ask them.
Asking open questions is a powerful technique that can allow others to verbalise their thoughts, clarify their thinking and come up their own solutions. It can help remove blocker and it can be hugely empowering for our team members.
The distinction between open and closed questions is that closed questions can be answered with a yes or a no while open questions can't.
It can be simple to rephrase a closed question to make it an open question. Let's see some examples below:
Closed Question: Did she agree to your request?
Open Question: How did she respond to your request?
Closed Question: Did you solve similar problems in the past?
Open Question: How have you solved similar problems in the past?
Closed Question: Do you want to try this?
Open Question: What do you want to try?
Open questions encourage more information to be shared. They encourage participation and involvement and invoke ideas and thoughts. This can be hugely beneficial specially in environments requiring creative thinking and problem solving.