The Bill Cohen blog: How to ask good questions


Ahead of a must-read feature in the December issue of  Dialogue management expert William A. Cohen brings you his speed primer on formulating great questions in business

I’m going to be writing at length on the power of questions in the next issue of  Dialogue. Meantime, here’s a sneak preview on how to make your questions work for you and your business. Here are eight questions to ask yourself when developing questions for your clients and team. I think the late, great Peter Drucker would approve of them!

• Will the question act as a catalyst for further discussion with your client?

• Will the question arouse curiosity?

• Will the question promote an exploration of new ideas?

• Will the question challenge your client to make a suggestion?

• Is the question open to a variety of different views and responses?

• Will the question help uncover controversies in the subject matter?

• Is the question directly connected with the client’s operation?

• Will the question encourage the client to examine their own thinking?

William A. Cohen PhD is president of the California Institute of Advanced Management


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