The Power of Asking Questions

UPDATED: February 3, 2023
PUBLISHED: July 28, 2015

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who only responded in two- or three-word sentences, and you walked away feeling like you learned very little? The person might not have been intentionally giving you short answers; perhaps you could have phrased your questions better. A lot of people fail to understand the power of asking quality questions.

Related: Question Everything

One effective tip for asking stronger questions is to frame questions in a positive tone. For example, ask, “How can I help with that?” instead of, “What do I have to do?” Framing things positively assures the direction of the conversation and leaves others with a pleasant memory of the exchange.

Listening matters. When we ask good questions, we are more likely to get responses worth listening to and answers that have valuable information for us personally or professionally. If you want to increase your impact and accomplish even better results, become a master at listening.

Curiosity is key. A few years ago, I participated on a panel about success with Zig Ziglar and Denis Waitley. The three of us were interviewed in Zig’s studio by our friend Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power Inc. At one point during the interview, I reversed the question to Gerhard: “What do you think is the key to success?” He surprised me with his response: Curiosity. He suggested that curiosity allows a person to ask questions, learn and truly grow.

You can learn from everyone. Being curious and asking questions can help you learn things you can use to create results faster.

Related: 5 Simple Questions Successful People Ask Themselves Every Day

Tony Jeary

Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.