Many people don't know the steps for asking better questions at work. This causes them to not achieve high success in their professional life. To achieve success in your career, you must learn how to ask better questions and improve your relationship with colleagues and managers. We can start to explore the main 5 steps for asking better questions at work. But, first, let's learn the common types of questions in the workplace.
What are the Common Types of Questions at Work?
First, we must answer the question; what are better questions at work? Better questions are the ones that are asked at the right time and place with the right intonation. To explain this better, let's look into the common types of questions which are asked in the workplace.
Research categorizes the most asked questions as;
Information-seeking questions: These questions are asked with the intention of achieving information. Some examples are; "When does the meeting start?", "How long is the break?".
Rhetorical questions: In this type of question, the asker already knows the answer. He/ she only aims at emphasizing the response such as "Do you know that the break finishes at 14 pm sharp?".
Examination questions: These questions are asked to examine someone's knowledge. As an example; " Do you know who is responsible for the project?"
Indirect questions: These questions are commonly asked to request an action, such as an invitation and help. For example; "Can you open the door for me?", "Can you show me the meeting room?"
Ask we know the common types of questions, we can learn the benefits of asking better questions at work.
Benefits of Asking Better Questions at Work
The most critical benefits of asking better questions at work are active learning and forming strong relationships with colleagues and managers. Additionally, you can impress your colleagues and managers with your confident attitude. This makes you more likable and approachable.
1. Boosts your learning
Asking better questions at work helps the asker to boost his/ her learning. By asking these questions, you can improve active learning and strengthens your inner thoughts.
2. Increases your visibility and makes you more likable
People who engage in asking questions increase their visibility and seem more likable to others. This has been proved by a study. The study shows how people's images change when they actively ask better questions. These people are also perceived as responsive and understanding.
3. You create a positive work environment
When you start to ask better questions at work, you will affect your colleagues positively. They may hesitate to ask questions in the workplace, but you can guide them to feel more comfortable expressing their questions. It also fosters a work environment in which employees trust one another.
4. Form professional connections
Directing questions to the other side and giving value to their responses strengthens your relationship to a great extent. Some people may want to give the response at another time. This can help you to have a deep conversation with them and show your knowledge. It is a great way to form professional connections at work.
4 Steps for Asking Better Questions at Work
Here, you can find the 4 simple steps for asking better questions at work.
1. Know what you are looking for
The first and essential step to making a question is to know what kind of response you want to get. Here, you can think in detail and find out which information you need to know. You may need to hear advice, key information, or only an opinion. Following that you must know to whom you must direct your question. You may need to ask a colleague, your manager, or your boss. It depends on the type of question you want to ask.
2. Ask open-ended questions
Open-ended questions are very helpful for keeping the conversation going. These questions are mostly the ones that you can not answer with "yes" or "no" questions. They also require a longer time to respond. This makes the conversation more valuable and the other side feels comfortable to answer.
3. Always be a good listener
One of the critical steps to keeping a strong conversation is being a good listener. After asking your question, be sure to listen to the other side carefully. Practice active listening skills to improve yourself as a listener. You can also give feedback if you need it. We must add this as well, never interrupt the answer. Listen till the person gives a clear response. If you start to have some questions on your mind, keep them for asking later.
4. Do not forget to say thank you
After someone responds to your question, you mustn't forget to thank them. This shows them that you are grateful for their response. Consequently, this will help to strengthen your professional relationship. And if you need to ask further questions later, they will answer them willingly.