Sitting around the office not knowing what to do is not the best way to succeed. Neither is hiding ignorance, no matter how innocent, from your colleagues and boss. Asking questions not only improves your creative thinking, it demonstrates your listening and comprehension skills. Asking relevant questions also shows that you are engaged and eager to learn.
Putting out any old questions won’t do, though. In fact, asking the right questions at the right time can mean the difference between career success and stagnation.
Learning the Art of Asking Questions
To improve your question-asking prowess, first apply the standard ‘question’ words to your own inquiry. Ask yourself the Who, What, Why, When, and How of your question before you deliver it.
- ‘Who?’ Well, if you’re in a job interview, asking the panel the right question can make an indelible impression.
- ‘What’ is about the subject of your question. Figure out what you really need to know, and your question will be more incisive.
- The ‘How’ is where real skill development comes into play. Open-ended questions are frequently the most creative and productive. Understanding the How is also about making sure to listen closely to the response before creating an effective follow-up.
This infographic from NetCredit serves as a guide to crafting the most effective, impressive questions to ask at work – and includes examples of the top queries to try. Learn these principles well and you’re sure to get more satisfying answers when talking with your colleagues and clients.
What’s the worst that could happen? Ask away!