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Questioning Skills
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Making Small Talk Exercise: Ask Me a Question

Making Small Talk Exercise: Ask Me a Question
Exercises, Coaching, Giving Feedback, Appraisal, Questioning Skills

Article Rating:::: 1847 Ratings :::: Monday, March 16, 2015

This activity can be used for coaching skills or making conversations. The basic principle behind the activity is simple and the aim is to provide an easy structure to follow. Use this activity where you need to get delegates to talk to each other about a given topic or a topic of their choice. It is also useful for mentoring or life coaching. You can also use it to get the delegate practice questioning and listening skills.

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Questioning Exercise: Open and Closed Questions

Questioning Exercise: Open and Closed Questions
Leadership, Exercises, Customer Services, Giving Feedback, Questioning Skills

Article Rating:::: 384 Ratings :::: Monday, March 2, 2015

This activity helps delegates understand the difference between open and closed questions. It is a rather simple exercise however if executed well it can lead to a profound insight. Those people who tend to ask closed questions too often would benefit the most as they can see that they would get a lot more information if they focused on asking open questions. Before going through this activity, you will need to cover what open and closed questions are. Here are some quick examples:

Example of a closed question:

  • “Did you book the flight ticket for me?”

Example of an open question:

  • When is the flight ticket booked for?”

Note that both types are useful; open questions are useful for information gathering while closed questions are good for fact checking. The main point to focus on in this exercise is that open questions lead to more information.

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What Does it Really Mean to Look into the Future

What Does it Really Mean to Look into the Future
Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Goal Setting, Questioning Skills, Planning

Article Rating:::: 73 Ratings :::: Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We all do this, think about our future and asking ourselves how we can improve it. That is a fair question and indeed makes perfect sense for a forward looking progressive society.

Unfortunately, it can also be a source of confusion and misguidance. The way the question is asked can easily focus attention in the wrong direction. When it comes to training or self-analysis, this is indeed something that you want to avoid.

Here, you will be presented with these kinds of questions and will learn how to formulate them correctly to get the most from them.

First, consider the following questions.

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How to Avoid Bad Reflective Questions

How to Avoid Bad Reflective Questions
Training Articles, Train the Trainer, Motivation, Goal Setting, Appraisal, Questioning Skills

Article Rating:::: 59 Ratings :::: Monday, April 1, 2013

Some questions are meant to increase our awareness about where we are and encourage us to learn from our experience. However, the way a question is formulated can make a huge difference in what you get out of it. This is applicable both to asking the question as a trainer or asking the question from yourself when self-reflecting.

In fact, there is a class of such questions called reflections on past performance. Here, you will be introduced to these questions and will see how to formulate them correctly for the best results.

To start, consider the following questions...


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Bullet Proofing Your Ideas: What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

Bullet Proofing Your Ideas: What Can Possibly Go Wrong?
Exercises, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Questioning Skills, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 65 Ratings :::: Monday, March 11, 2013

Most brainstorming sessions revolve around problem solving and coming up with new solutions. This is useful in generating ideas, though it does not provide many opportunities to find out what happens if certain actions are missed or if things go wrong.

This brainstorming technique helps groups to focus on evaluating the feasibility of solutions in practice. This is known as bullet proofing technique which is a form of negative brainstorming.

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Goal Setting Exercise: Challenge Assumptions

Goal Setting Exercise: Challenge Assumptions
Exercises, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Goal Setting, Questioning Skills, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 213 Ratings :::: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sometimes we take things for granted. We assume certain conditions are true and remain true until it is too late. This happens often in industries that evolve very quickly or markets that change rapidly due to social or political instabilities.

As an example, the mobile phone industry evolves quickly. The earlier leaders in the industry such as Nokia took their position for granted and focused primarily on adding Mega Pixels and rings tones generation after generation until a new competitor, namely Apple, entered the market with a much more superior product. The customers responded by dishing their old phones and getting the new feature-rich smart phones. Nokia lost the market and their shares crashed as much as 90% within several short years. The moral of the story is simple. If you assume and don’t question your assumptions, before long you are bound to make critical mistakes that could endanger your project, your market or even the very existence of your organisation.

In this exercise, delegates learn to systematically challenge assumptions. This exercise is ideal for a group of people that work for the same organisation.

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Comprehension Exercise: Reciprocal Teaching

Comprehension Exercise: Reciprocal Teaching
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Questioning Skills

Article Rating:::: 164 Ratings :::: Monday, December 5, 2011

Reciprocal teaching is a technique used by trainers and teachers to facilitate understanding a piece of text. It is designed to promote comprehension by looking at a text from several different angles.

The technique was developed by Palinscar (1986) with an aim to facilitate collaborative investigation. The four comprehension strategies used in this technique are:

  • Summarising
  • Questioning
  • Clarifying
  • Predicting

By alternating between these roles, group members can share their analysis with each other systematically while focusing on many aspects of a piece of information or text.

This technique can also be used as a brainstorming technique to prepare for negotiations, making critical decisions and problem solving.

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Questioning Skills Exercise: What’s My Name?

Questioning Skills Exercise: What’s My Name?
Games, Exercises, Exercises for Kids, Problem Solving, Questioning Skills, Memory

Article Rating:::: 95 Ratings :::: Monday, December 27, 2010

This is a famous entertaining game were a player must guess the name written on a card by asking closed questions where the answers can be “yes” or “no”. The objective is to find the name as quickly as possible. Many variations can be used to bias the exercise based on your specific training needs. A variation of this exercise can be used to teach the importance of asking open questions as opposed to closed questions to maximise information transfer. See Variations for a guideline on this.

This exercise has become immortally famous by Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.

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Communication Exercise: Unusual Greetings

Communication Exercise: Unusual Greetings
Exercises, Communication Skills, Exercises for Kids, Personal Impact, Questioning Skills

Article Rating:::: 201 Ratings :::: Thursday, October 29, 2009

This humorous activity encourages delegates to use unusual sentences for greetings. This exercise aims to demonstrate the effect of honest and genuine greetings which can make communication more effective and helps to build better relationships.

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Communication Skills: Recall Interruption

Communication Skills: Recall Interruption
Exercises, Communication Skills, Questioning Skills, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 166 Ratings :::: Friday, May 8, 2009

Psychologists have suggested a direct link between the way you recall an event and the way you are questioned about it. The structure of the questions and the wordings are critical. Numerous studies on eyewitness recalls show that witnesses remember differently depending on how they are asked. In this exercise, delegates will get a hands-on experience of differences created as a result of asking different questions. This will encourage them to pay more attention to the way they ask questions and thereby improve their communication skills.

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