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Top Ten Takeouts: Great Questions

  •  Is the answer to every question you ask “it depends”?
  •  Is it hard to form rapport with potential clients?
  • Do you find your efforts all too often ineffective?

Perhaps you are asking and trying to solve the wrong questions. We talk about questions a lot, but it's rare that any effort is spent forming better questions, let alone great questions.

 Great Questions can:

  • Provide critical information in their answer.
  • Make your solutions and effort much more effective and cost efficient
  • Allow you to build rapport with clients, staff, management and stakeholders
  • Improve your negotiating and persuasion skills

In this event we explored:

  • The difference between a good question and a great question
  • The rewards and the costs of your questioning ability
  • Whether there's methodologies for questions you can apply
  • The Question as part of a larger conversation


Soozey Johnstone – Method 9
Tracey Rankin – Alchemy Research
Jeremy Yuille – Meld Studios
Moderator: Brendan Lewis – Founder of the Churchill Club

The Takeouts

  1. Always keep in mind the outcome or objectives you’re trying to achieve whilst asking questions
  2. Consider the target audience – how do you need to frame questions for them specifically
  3. Listen - don’t interrupt. Be present and engaged
  4. Plan, plan, plan
  5. Non-verbal cues and the rapport you build with a person are just as important. Make respondents feel comfortable as they’re more likely to open up
  6. Only use open ended questions (that won’t generate yes/no answers) and avoid double barrelled questions (where you’re asking two questions in one)
  7. Avoid order bias. What you discuss first can impact the answers you get later on, particularly if you’ve made someone defensive.
  8. Be conscious of your own bias, judgements and emotional state
  9. Consider where you ask questions. If it’s a curly conversation, consider getting out of a small enclosed room – try a café or out walking 
  10. Silence is the most powerful question of all. It can be a far more effective way to gather information as people always look to fill in the gap.