zandax online course logo
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

5 Tips on How to Ask Better Questions in Conversations and Why It Matters

From the ZandaX Communication Blog

Articles to help you improve your communications

Home  >  Blogs Home  >  Development Blog  >  Communication Articles  > 
5 Tips on How to Ask Better Questions in Conversations and Why It Matters

5 Tips on How to Ask Better Questions in Conversations and Why It Matters

A post from our Communication blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
Questions play a vital role in conversations, even if we don't realise it. Some people get irritated when they are faced with questions but what they fail to realise is that, in fact, these are the biggest indicators that the person in front of them is actually paying attention to what they are saying.

Listening to Others

If you think about it, you'll find that people who aren't paying attention to you have nothing to ask and seem to agree to everything you say. This can severely interfere with communication, especially in a work environment. To avoid falling into this trap, we've collected 6 tips on how to ask better questions in conversations and why it matters so much.

1) Ask open-ended questions

One of the most important characteristics of great conversationalists is that they often use open-ended questions. Not only do they understand the power of questioning, but they know how to utilise it.

But what exactly is an open question? Let's take the following four questions as an example:
  1. Do you want that report?
  2. Why do you want that report?
  3. Are you busy?
  4. What are you working on?
You'll notice that questions 1 and 3 require short, single word answers - these are called close-ended questions. One the other hand, questions 2 and 4 require elaboration which can lead to full conversations and discussions, and these are considered open-ended questions.

2) Ask for more information

People who have dealt with children in any capacity can attest to their intense curiosity. They're almost constantly asking questions. Phrases such as ‘why this', ‘what's that' or ‘how?' are all vital parts of their vocabulary. The reason for this is that they know they need to ask questions if they want more information.

As we grow, however, we become more and more reluctant to ask. According to Innovation Management, one of the most common reasons for this is that people are lazy. They think they know everything there is to know, and they don't bother to ask more. A sense of personal pride and independence can also motivate people to stop asking questions. Unfortunately, in work situations, failing to do this can affect your progress and your productivity.

To avoid this, try asking questions and pursuing information wherever possible. Not only will it help you to work more effectively, but it also shows the other person that you're interested in what they have to say. If you need some more help with how to ask good questions, ZandaX covers this in more detail in our communication skills courses.

3) Ask for clarification

Similarly to a lack of questions, misunderstandings can lead to a lot of problems as well, especially in workplace situations. This is why it's crucial to ask for clarification if you haven't fully understood something. Although some people worry that this might make them appear less intelligent, but this is not the case - so don't be afraid to ask for clarification.

It's equally important to make sure that your audience has understood you. Try to invite questions at regular intervals to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

4) Encourage further input

Asking questions such as ‘what do you think will happen if we make these changes,' or ‘how will this policy affect our long term plans,' encourage people to really think about these matters. Questions like these invite input from others, open up a discussion where ideas can be exchanged, and can encourage team or even company-wide improvement in communication. They lead to meaningful dialogues that can be very advantageous for both you and your colleagues.

Colleagues Talking

5) Control the direction of the conversation

Effective communicators can control the direction of conversation by asking the right questions at the right time. For example, if you want the other person to focus on their previous point and elaborate on it instead of moving on, all you need to do is ask a question.

Do you have any other tips on how to ask better questions in conversations? As always, make sure to tell us in the comments below.

Back to the Communication blog

Click the button for more Communication articles.

The ZandaX Personal Development blog

Click a panel for great articles on personal development

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2022
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Learn About:
Personal Development
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!   All courses are CPD certified.
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel 2021 / 365
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft Excel 2013 / 2016
Introduction to Professional
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Powerpoint Introduction
Microsoft Powerpoint Advanced
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word Introduction
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Access Introduction
Microsoft Access Intermediate
Microsoft Access Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook Essentials
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting
... there will be more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Take a look at our new Leadership & Management section which we begin with a superb course on Managing Teams
... there's lots more to follow, so keep in touch!
Team Leadership courses
Team Leadership & Line Management
For practical advice on managing teams for results.
Make your team successful and more positive with tons of real-world techniques that work.
  • Team Management for Line Managers & Supervisors
  • Building High Performing Teams (in production)
Watch Out For More!
We have more courses in the pipeline so check back soon to see what's new!
More team leader courses
Great, easy-to-follow courses on how to succeed in sales and presentations
Drive Your Sales to New Levels
Selling Skills course
Learn how to sell more, to more people
Deliver Presentations that Get Results
Presentation Skills course
Build and deliver great presentations
Your Keys to Success are here!
Sales Management course
Manage your team for great results
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this