You’re Asking It Wrong – Questioning Techniques

Darryl Bachmeier
Sep 16, 2020

Questioning is a part of our life. We often seek answers to the things that we are not familiar with from a young age. Questioning also develops in our work life to get the information that we require to get our job done.

Why should you learn these techniques?

Questioning techniques are a vital skill to learn. Questioning techniques can help us to direct the sentence into a format to receive the proper answer that we need.

It is said that you reap what you sow. If you ask questions the wrong way, you will get the wrong answers. This can complicate the situation, leaving both parties on both ends confused and dissatisfied.

Engagement with others is increased via questioning and answering.

Questioning techniques can help us articulate the conversation in our desired way in our personal lives, making it more efficient for us to engage others in conversations we seek out to have.

Whether you are a teacher that needs to question their students or a student that wants to increase their learning or a person in any endeavor of their professional life, questioning techniques increase productivity.

Communication is king to great impressions and can make your and everyone’s life easier.

Types of Questioning Techniques

Six key questioning techniques are helpful to learn. These can be adjusted to the situation and requirements.

Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions, as the name implies, are the questions with loose ends. There are many possible answers to these types of questions and it is dependent on the person to interpret the question and answer it in their way.

For example: “What can you see in the sky?” This is an open-ended question and the person answering will respond to the things that they focused on.

Close Ended Questions

Close-ended questions, as the name implies, are the questions that have no loose ends. There is one answer to the question that is forward and direct.

These types of questions are used to see check the focus of the listener and know whether they know the answer to the question or not.

For example: “What color is the sky?” has one obvious answer. This will be a direct question that the listener can respond to quickly if they know the correct answer.

Probing Questions

Probing questions are a great tool to use on the people who are trying to avoid answering questions to their full potential or getting the full story from someone to clarify the meaning of the conversation.

For example: “which person was in charge of report?” allowing us to know the answers that were tried to conceal.

Funneling Questions

Funneling questions are the ones used to direct the conversation to get the entirety of an answer by using a series of strategic questioning.

Funneling questions works with an effect called the ‘Funnel Effect’ where we use the combination of the above three types of questions.

  • Ask an open-ended question (e.g. “Can you update me on the project?”)
  • Ask a probing question (e.g. “Who was in charge of the project?”)
  • Ask a close-ended question (e.g. “Is the project ready?”)
    • This allows you to create a flow and get clarity on both ends.

Leading Questions

A leading question, as the name suggests, leads the person to answer a question according to your desire. It is a form of persuasion technique that can be extremely helpful to turn the conversation in your favor.

For example: “Our most popular item is the turtle neck. Is that something that will interest you?” This question will help you lead the person in the direction you want.

Rhetoric Questions

A rhetorical question has an obvious answer. These are used to engage people in the conversation.

For example: “Isn’t the kitten cute?” can be used to engage the other person in the conversation.


Having a strategic way of asking a question and applying these questioning techniques can help you to get the best answer that you need. No need to beat around the bush as you can now just extract the information you need.

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