No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Questioning techniques/models


Does anyone have any particularly favourite questioning techniques or models? e.g. 5 Whys etc. I'd be very happy to hear your recommendations!
Many thanks
Andie Hemming
Andie Hemming

7 Responses

  1. context is everything
    Hi Andie
    The 5 whys is great for SOME types of coaching but not good for finding out how a safety related accident occured, so for me this is all down to context – coaching, job selection, incident inquiry, court room, medical history questioning etc

    Do you have a situation in mind?

  2. Kipling(?)
    Hi Andie

    I don’t know if you’ve come across this (I think from Kipling)…

    I keep six honest serving men,
    They taught me all I knew
    Their names are What and Why and When
    And How and Where and Who

  3. It depends…
    Hi Andie,

    I’m with Mike…context is important. The 5 Whys are good, but remember the techniques came from the Quality field as part of root cause analysis (back in the 60’s???). It’s OK for finding quality defects but is less effective as a ‘questioning technique’. Personally I would NOT use it, simply because a ‘why’ question is likely to get you into ‘belief territory’ and breakdown communication rather than enhance it.

    The Kipling who, what how etc (from the Elephants Child) is also good, but for me concentrating on the three types of question is best (Open/Closed/Rhetorical). In my opinion there are ONLY three, everything else is a variation on one of these!!!

    The danger of Kipling’s approach is that if we are lazy even asking a ‘what’ question can still be closed, so we need to add a ‘modifier’ to ‘force’ an open answer (“so what does that mean, specifically?” as opposed to “What did you mean by that”).

    If you are thinking about a coaching session, then models such as ‘GROW’, ‘POWER’ etc are very good, ‘GAINS’ & ‘STEER’ are also good.

    Hope this helps!


  4. Open & Closed Myth
    When I was young and King Ethelred was on the throne we got the concept of Open and Closed questions hammered into us and how they affected the responses we got. I was never convinced and in a sales environment it apparently has absolutely no credence according to this report by the Huthwaite Group. Although this research was conducted in a sales context I suspect the same findings would be uncovered in a management situation. Any way, here’s the url and it’s page 8, Myth #4 you want to read.

  5. Effective Questioning
    I deliver a session on effective questioning and effective listening a the two skills run together and impact on each other. I present Investigative Interviewing courses to Law Enforcement throughout the Criminal Justice System and also an amended version of effective questioning and lisetening to the private sector in Customer Care courses. I use a model called TED PIE to precede the Kiplings 5 W’s and H – before going on to exercises and games to reinforce the learning. Email me and I will take you through it. Paul

  6. Thank you!
    Thanks so much everyone. Much appreciated!
    I’ve been able to e-mail you all direct to say thanks (except Paul – apologies where’s your e-address?)

    best wishes


  7. Questioning Techniques
    I know that this topi was brought up a very long time ago but I was wondering if you could tell me about any of the exercises and games taht you used to assess/evaluate the questoning types?



Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!