BizTips from SCORE – Asking Great Questions

Part of communications is asking good questions that allow you to acquire the information you want or need to know.  As a small business owner, you cannot be everyplace all of the time so you need to generate information from your team.  In order to get good information we need to ask good questions.  Consider the following tips to get the information you need to make those tough decisions.

What do I want or need to know?
What information am I missing?
Do I need more than a simple YES or NO?

Why am I asking?
Am I seeking facts or opinions?
Do I just need a simple clarification?
Am I looking for general or specific information?

Am I seeking information or starting a discussion?
Do I really care about the answer?
Do I want the answer to be of help to others or myself?

Am I using easily understandable words and terms?
Do my questions contain bias or opinion?
Is the question too long or too short?
Does the question focus on what I actually want or need to know?

Do I have any more specific questions to add after getting the initial answer?
I don’t have my answers so what is the next step?
What can I do next if I still do not have what I think I need after receiving the answer?

Sometimes it is best to write down your questions to assure that you are asking what you really need or want to know.

Source: Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor, SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands –  Source: