A couple of things to keep in mind when integrating questions into your next virtual meeting:
- Keep your questions short. When questions are too long, we don’t understand them. Aim for 5-7 words in a question.
- Ask one question at a time. If you ask more than one question, the listener will first need to figure out what question they have to answer first. In a group context, this will likely lead to people getting off on different tangents, as people will hear different questions first.
- Be clear on when you want to ask open-ended questions, which solicit an invite to expand, or when you want simply a yes/no answer.
- Use different ways to get people’s response. Depending on the technology you are using, you may be able to share comments verbally, as well as by chat, and sometimes by annotation.
- Avoid starting questions with WHY unless trust levels are very high! “Why” questions tend to put people on the defensive. “What” questions tend to be the most open-ended. “How” questions will invite people into thinking about process.For more on the art of questioning in the virtual space, along with a series of questions you might use, check out the Skills in Focus Chapter in my book, Effective Virtual Conversations.
What are some of your favorites? Share with us using the comments below.
And to leave you off with one of my favorite closing questions – What are you going to do to put this in practice in the next 24 hours?
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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