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The Art of Asking the Right Questions

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The Art of Asking the Right Questions

Do you hesitate to raise questions in class as a student? Is it because of the mockery you might face? Alternatively, is it because of your growing reluctance to question the status quo? Whatever the reason, not questioning prevents you from making use of a fantastic learning tool.


Three of our greatest thinkers—Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein—had this in common: They were driven by concerns of meaning, applicability, and interpretation.


Various societies have different ways of thinking and learning.


What kind of Learner are you?


Reflect on and analyse your learning style. Your learning style is determined by your listening abilities, your ability to focus, your passion for the subject, and your sincerity. For instance, in the lesson, are you engaged and responsive or reserved and observing? Are you insightful, introspective, and analytical, or are you frequently side-tracked? Do you take lectures seriously and use notes to help you remember what you have learned?


The existing learning methods are shallow and unproductive since there is little connection between professors and pupils. Many kids are shy and hesitant to ask questions, which is likely a result of our culture’s emphasis on “acceptance” rather than challenging or questioning the current quo.


A common misconception among students is that teachers do not encourage them to ask questions. Teachers understand that asking questions is not “defiance,” but rather the result of a desire to learn. In the pursuit of knowledge, mastering and using the art of questioning is crucial.


Key Educational Technique


A key aspect of good learning is the capacity for questioning. Questions encourage conversation and relieve the monotony of a monologue, which is why teachers appreciate them. The routine and dull atmosphere of the classroom is abruptly replaced by an engaging quest for enlightenment. Such interactions turn the procedure into an engaging activity that offers students various advantages, including:


Building a mentor-mentee relationship with the teacher while developing critical thinking abilities, gaining knowledge of the subject, improving listening and communication skills, and gaining self-confidence.

While asking the right questions is equally important, asking questions is a great method to learn.


What sort of Questions?


As a student, you are exposed to a variety of topics, concepts, and ideas along with a variety of difficulties, all of which influence the kinds of questions that must be asked.


There can be various types of questions like:

  1. Conceptual questions 
  2. Probing questions 
  3. Hypothetical questions 
  4. Comparative questions 
  5. Connecting questions 


How to ask better Questions?


The following advice will help you start posing more insightful queries:


  • Listen Intently.


Pay attention when someone answers your question or explains things to you.


If you do not listen carefully, you can find yourself asking questions that have already been addressed. You can avoid asking general questions that you should probably already know the answers to by placing your attention on listening.


To keep interested when someone else is speaking, make eye contact and nod when you comprehend what he or she is saying.


  • Research your Topic.


What you are asking and why do you understand? Make sure you know what you are asking for, even though it might sound superfluous. Concentrate on the area of confusion.


You will not get the right kind of answer if your query is too ambiguous and difficult to understand. If you do not make them feel successful, they will not respond to questions correctly. Do not be scared to delve deeper into your subject than a simple enquiry.


  • Utilise the silence to your Advantage.


Asking questions is not meant to be a fast-paced exchange of ideas. You can better frame your follow-up inquiries if you take a moment to listen in between responses.


Do not feel obligated to reply immediately. Rapid responses can disrupt the flow of a conversation. Learn to be at ease with silence and give yourself time to reflect if you do not want to rush yourself or others.


  • Avoid leading Questions.


Do not ask invasive questions. An answer is already implied by a leading question. Sometimes those who ask leading questions seek confirmation that they already know the solution. It may be safe in some circumstances, but it does not allow for alternative reactions.


If another person’s opinion could be useful, try not to push him or her toward a particular conclusion. Keep your question concise, straightforward, and, if possible, free of personal bias.


  • Keep your Inquiries brief.


A wordy query reveals a lack of self-awareness. It might end up making someone more perplexed than necessary. You want to include just enough information in your query, to sum up, what you are looking for in a response, but not too much.


You should not have to repeat your question to the person you are asking three or four times. You can still start a good conversation by concentrating on asking open-ended questions in a single sentence.


  • Correct your Sequencing.


Think carefully about the order in which you should ask questions if you have a lengthy conversation with a lot to cover. Feel sympathy for the opposing side. Some people take time to open up and find it easy to answer personal questions. Because of this, you should be aware of how much trust you have in the other person and consider their feelings.


Starting with delicate or challenging questions might not be a good idea. Before moving on to more emotional inquiries, start with simple, fundamental ones.


  • Use the Proper Tone.


Questions can serve a variety of purposes and have various connotations. Some are serious, while others are humorous and light-hearted. Knowing when to use a serious, professional tone and when to be casual is crucial.


The key is to be adaptable and change your style. People may feel uneasy and less willing to share information if you are overly formal in every situation. Take note of the atmosphere in the room or with the person you are speaking to before you ask your next question.

Also published on Medium.

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