Thank You for Listening by Marc Wong

Open-Ended Questions

  • The main purpose of open-ended questions is to help the speaker discover aspects of his or her story that they may have not been aware of. It’s still ok to ask yes/no questions to help clarify your understanding, but you usually want to focus on the open-ended variety. Such questions can help others understand why something is bothering them. They are the kinds of questions that counsellors and therapists use. It is generally better if people come to their own solutions rather than just giving them your advice. If you are faced with a problem that doesn’t seem to have any answers, such questions can help. Marc’s website has exercises that will allow you to practice this skill. He also reminds us that you can’t use any technique to mask indifference, silent judgement, hidden agendas, or carelessness.
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