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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. 0000017b-d583-d84a-afff-fdd77fc70000Local support for Let's Talk Business comes from First Midwest Bank -- offering banking solutions for all stages of life. Online at onemidwest.com. Member FDIC.

Let's Talk Business: Asking Good Questions

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Asking the right questions is one of the most powerful, yet underutilized tool in business.

Good questions serve as your guide on your journey to better understanding situations. Choosing your questions wisely often determines the fruitfulness of your journey. Let’s explore a few tips for asking the best questions:

First, Use Open-Ended Questions - Open-ended questions don’t have simple yes or no answers. Open-ended questions allow for conversations to happen and problem solving to build and grow.

Next, Listen - Always be aware and mindful of how much time you are talking versus asking questions and listening. As you listen to someone’s answer to your question, process it, think about it and any other questions you need to be answered.

Another tip for asking good questions is using the Five Ws and One H - The Five Ws and One H are the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions. You can use the Five Ws and One H in almost any situation, including:

  • Creating a company strategy
  • Understanding a past situation
  • Communicating a new program, and more

And finally, Use the Inverse of the Five Ws and One H when you’re faced with a particularly tricky issue or are struggling to get everyone’s head around the problem. Ask who is involved, and also who is not involved. Ask what it is, and also ask what it is not. This line of questioning will lead you to possible solutions you may not have come to otherwise.