EP #44 Could I Ask A Better Question
Play • 1 hr 6 min

 Why do people ask questions? To get information. Have you ever left a situation thinking, I wished I had asked more questions? Questions are a valuable part of conversations and communication in general. Yet, most training will focus on using the right words and listening rather than asking good questions. The conversation, meeting, or presentation direction depends on the questions asked and the information gleaned from those questions.  Ask questions to get high-quality information or useless information. It depends on the asker and the structure of the questions.   
What do questions do for us? To Set a direction.

Questions are tools that chunk information into smaller or bigger pieces. 

  • Can get a person to reinforce a problem because people set up filters to sample only the things that confirm what they already know or decided
  • Or can open up new frontiers of knowledge and possibilities
  • It can help people to process and reorganize information in a new way.
  • Are defined by purpose 
  • Divide the world into categories, small or large.  

For example, “Think of a time when you feel fascinated” creates a direction that chunks out that set of experiences – fascinated and says, “This is what we’re going to do – select this.” 

"Think of an extremely intense example” decreases the number of examples the person can select from.  

 “Think of the time when you felt the most fascinated” represents the smallest set from which to select an example.

  • Learn to ask “when” questions – will trigger information about where in time an event occurred and when it was perceived by the person to have started.
  • Learn to challenge quantification in language because this pattern shows you where someone has placed boundaries of limits in their world model.  If someone says, “it just happens,” respond by saying, “Well, as you notice what happens, just before that, tell me what it is.”  This question is framed so that for a person to understand the sentence, they have to accept the presupposition that they are going to notice what it is.  And it drives things from the unconscious to the conscious… in the process of elicitation.
  • The brain continues to search the memory system on an unconscious level even after an answer has been found on the conscious level.  The mind scan 30 items per second even when the person is unaware that a search is taking place.

Is there a formula for asking a good question? The structure of a good question.

 The art of asking a question in NLP enables a person to ask a question that you know the answer to and lead the listener in a certain direction.  

There is a very thin line between elicitation and installation.

 What is the meta-model in NLP? Designed to help a person understand the linguistic deletions, generalizations, and distortions. The Meta-Model is designed to obtain high-quality information in a short amount of time.

 The Meta Model:

  • Not about finding out what’s wrong
  • It is about finding out the limits of a person’s model.
  • Every question sets a direction and directs the listener on how to think.

To improve communication ability, a key factor is listening and then clarifying what the other person means and avoiding assigning your subjective meaning based on your own experience.  It allows you to clarify assumptions quickly and precisely. 


More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu