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Questioning Skills


I'm running a communication skills workshop and I'm looking for a questioning skills exercise. Does anybody have any suggestions?
Liz Tucker

8 Responses

  1. sorry again
    Can you be a bit more specific about the learning objective for the workshop or the exercise?
    Depending what you want to get out of it there are many very different exercises, any of which could be very valuable or a complete waste of time depending where they are used

  2. Generic

    Heres a generic one, Guess who, you, the trainer, thinks of a celebrity, then you go around the table asking closed questions only trying to find out who you are, this is a good one for a sales course explaining that closed questions take you a long time to get anywhere, but as Rus said, without context, its difficult to advise.

    Hope this helps anyway


  3. Questioning Skills
    Hi Liz,

    Have a look at Trainers Library they have loads of fun games + exercises.

    Hope that helps,


  4. Open and closed
    One that I have found helpful has been to provide delegates with a (short) list of open and another of closed questions. The task (in pairs), is to formulate a closed question from each open one and vice versa – it’s astonishing how many people struggle with this. We then discuss in what sort of situation each of the two versions would be most appropriate.

  5. Beware closed questions!!!!
    In response to the closed question you ask – YES I do have some suggestions.

  6. Cluedo
    A very successful exercise that i used in a recent ‘effective questioning skills’ workshop was to develop a game of Cluedo with a company specific spin, ie ‘Who lost the sale’ with company personalities, company locations and bad sales practices as the murder weapons.

    It did last some time, but the debrief allowed me to return to many key themes re the power of open vs closed questions, analysing responses and reacting accordingly and so on.

    Good fun and very useful.

  7. Focused conversation
    An excellent resource is “The Art of Focused conversation” by R. Brian Stanfield published by the Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs.(you can get it from Amazon)It outlines the ORID Framework:
    O = Objective
    R = Reflective
    I = Interpretative
    D = Decisional.

    The book contains hundreds of examples of questions around a wide range of scenarios using this framework.
    This framework makes it possible to gather and process information in a focused way and to arrive at decisions / resolution very quickly.

  8. 20 questions
    i usually run two fairly short exercises based around questioning. The first is a conundrum where the group have 20 questions / guesses to solve it but can only ask closed questions. Usually they give up and rarely guess correctly. I conclusion the group identify that if they weren’t limited to closed they could have got the answer with one question.
    The second exercise is based around the group becoming GP’s and diagnosing your illness, which is actually bought about by a hobby you have. You allow open / closed questions. The group usually form assumptions and don’t ask enough probing questions to make a suitable recommendation.
    Hope this helps and let me know if you require any further information.


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