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What About Questions. Exploring the when, why and how of effective questioning. Jacky Roddy AIRS 2012. SESSION OBJECTIVES. To identify why we ask questions To identify different types of questions To learn when to use what types of questions To identify questioning strategies. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Exploring the when, why and how of effective questioning.Jacky RoddyAIRS 2012

  • SESSION OBJECTIVESTo identify why we ask questionsTo identify different types of questionsTo learn when to use what types of questionsTo identify questioning strategies

  • Why Ask QuestionsBuild rapportComplete an assessmentGet the factsGuide the conversationClarify and Confirm Understanding

  • BUILD RAPPORTPeople generally respond positively if you ask about what they think or feel about a situation or enquire about their opinions.

    Allows you to connect with the caller in a more meaningful way.

    Questions say you care enough to be engaged

  • QUESTIONS & THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT Assessment is critical for effective information and referral.

    You must ask questions of the client before you can give information.

    Asking questions helps identify, analyze and prioritize the clients needs.

  • A needs assessment involves asking the right questions in the right way

    It is sometimes necessary to ask the client a number of questions to understand the details of their situation

    It is sometimes necessary to ask the same question but in a different way.

    There should always be a reason for every question you ask the client and it is important to let the client know why you are asking.QUESTIONS & THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT

  • GET THE FACTSurgency (how quickly do they need the service?)who the service is for?health statusagefamily compositionprevious attempts at getting help for the situationaddress or general locationaccess to the Internet

  • GUIDE THE CONVERSATIONAs the I&R provider it is important that you stay in control of the interaction.

    Asking questions helps you stay in the drivers seat of the interaction

    With an angry or upset caller questions can help diffuse the situation

  • CLARIFY AND CONFIRM UNDERSTANDINGAsking directly if your understanding of the situation is correct goes a long way in avoiding misunderstanding

  • QUESTIONING SKILLSAsking questions often comes naturally

    Asking the right type of question, at the right time is a skill

    Knowing the types of questions is the first step in honing the skill of asking questions.

  • Types of QuestionsOpen QuestionsClosed QuestionsFunnel QuestionsProbing QuestionsLeading QuestionsReflective Questions

  • Open QuestionsBuilds relationship, tells the client you are interestedProvides detail Allows for empathetic listeningElicit responses that are more than one or two wordsWhat happened whenHow do you feel

    CAUTIONEasy to loose control of interaction and keep the client on track

  • Closed QuestionsTypically yes/no response or short answerProvides essential facts, (postal code, age)Getting talkative clients back on trackClosing a call

    CAUTIONMay feel like an interrogationCan shut down a conversation particularly if the answer is unknown

  • Funnel TechniqueInvolves starting with a general question then narrowing to the more specificHave you contacted any services regarding...?Yes a few.What services have you tried?The XYZ and ABCWhat happened when you contacted service XYZ?

    Funnel questions usually start with closed questions and move to open questions.CAUTION Dont get caught in just exploring the funnel direction

  • ProbingProbing questions are used to check for more detail or clarificationCannot be planned in advanceDifficult to construct therefore often avoidedEssential to a complete and thorough needs assessment

  • TIPS FOR PROBING QUESTIONSCheck to see if you have a right answer in mind. If so dont ask it.Refer to the clients original question/focus point. Try using verbs: What do you fear? Assume? Expect?Think about the concentric circles of comfort, risk and danger. Use these as a barometer. Dont avoid risk, but dont push the client into a situation of discomfort or distrust.

  • Concentric Circles of Comfort, Risk & Danger

  • GOOD PROBING QUESTIONSDont place blame on anyoneAllow for multiple responsesEmpower the clientAvoid yes/no responsesAre usually briefMove thinking from reaction to reflection

  • PROBING STEMSWhat do you think would happen if?How wasdifferent from?What is the connection betweenand?What other approaches have you considered ...?CAUTIONDont let probing slide into prying...know why you are asking every question you ask.Avoid Why questions they may come across as blaming and judgemental.

  • LeadingLeading questions leads the client to answer in a particular way and to answer at all.

    Used to wrap up a call, get a clients opinions/feelings, clarify a clients understanding of actions

    CAUTION Can be viewed as manipulative

  • REFLECTIVE Reflects back to the client what has been said or the action plan for the client.

    Reflective questions can also be used to defuse situations

    How do you feel about calling XYZ agency?

    CAUTIONRemember your limitations...you are not a psychotherapist


    You have probably used all of these questioning techniques before in your everyday life, at work and at home.

    But by consciously applying the appropriate kind of questioning, you can gain the information, response or outcome that enables an effective I&R interaction.

  • What to use whenUsing the 3C model:

    Contact Ask open ended questions

    Clarification Ask probing, funnel, and some closed questions

    Closure Ask closed and reflective questions

  • What to use whenTalkative Client closed questions

    Hostile or Upset Client Reflective Questions, Open Ended Questions

    Confused Client Funnel Questions; Probing Questions

    Non trusting Client Open Ended

  • Questioning StrategiesWatch your timingHave a planAsk permissionGo from broad to narrowUse simple language, watch acronyms and technical termsBe non-threatening, non-manipulative and non-blamingTake a consultation approach, be empathetic and understanding

  • SummaryQuestions are asked to get the facts but also to build rapport, guide the conversation and clarify your understanding.

    There are many different types of questions but when to use them and how to word them correctly is a skill.

    There are strategies to effective questioning that can be learnt and practiced.






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