Asking Better Questions

To ask a good question you need to be probing, demand evidence and challenge what you are being told. Most people take the information they hear and see at face value. You want to demand excellence and better analysis from those around you.

 

Ask better questions and enjoy better answers. Try one of these principles in your next meeting!

 

  • Is this a situation where I can apply a ‘critical thinking’ perspective?

 

Critical thinking skills can be applied in most situations. However, you will find them most relevant where important decisions are being made. Do not force your perspective on others but question constructively whether they’re open to other options.

 

  • What is the claim / conclusion?

 

Be clear about the point of the argument and what is being stated or claimed with or without evidence. Understanding the argument, eliminating any loaded language or removing any value judgements is the first step to an objective analysis.

 

  • What is the evidence to support the argument?

 

Often this is where you can be most constructive. Is there evidence? How strong is it? Are there alternative or opposing views? Are they supported by evidence?

 

  • Have we considered all options?

 

Options analysis is rarely done, yet it can prove very effective, especially when people feel involved, not threatened.

 

This is an excerpt from our Critical Thinking & Problem Solving course. Practice these principles with the in unit quizzes Check it out to find out how to make the most of feedback and improve your writing. Take a look at all our courses here.