When you are helping entrepreneurs and developers, you want to lead them after you understand their specific situation. Asking a question is an important tool that will let you investigate what are the strengths and weaknesses.
It’s a skill, so like any other skill, you can improve it. I found that there are (almost) no ‘dumb questions’. In many cases, the basic questions are the most revealing ones. Similar to the “5 whys” that are helpful to get to root cause of a problem.
Before you asking the question, do some homework and try to find the answer yourself. Later, when you ask the question, say what you did in order to find the answer. This will help you to establish the conversation and show that you did some homework on the topic.
Some suggestions that will improve your questions:
- Start with what you think you know – This will make sure that you are all on the same page and will lay the ground to go deeper. In many cases, it will lead to other questions that will clear the dust and make the current status clearer. You can repeat after what you heard in your own words and finish with ‘is it correct?’
- Ask a specific question that is based on facts – This is another way to put all parties on the same page.
- What is the meaning of X? In many cases, people are using terms or an acronym that you don’t understand. Don’t be let the conversation to move forward. Ask for an explanation.
- Ask in the right timing – See that the other person got the right time to devote to you. This is critical because if the answer is going to lead to more questions (like in many cases) you want to have the time to dig deeper.
- Ask the right person – In many cases, you need to identify the right person to answer your specific questions.
Have a good weekend!