What is an open question?
Well, that previous sentence was an open question. It is a question that triggers thinking much more than a closed question would do and it is probably well known to most instructors who use this “open questioning technique” to activate their students. You might now be thinking: “I know this already, this isn´t news to me”. Yes, we know that using open questions is a well-proven technique for instructors. The thing about knowing (or knowledge) is that is does not go along way without skills. Using questions effectively is an art. A skill that has to be trained. Have you ever thought about how powerful a simple open question can be in many other situations? Or how an open question is not only an open question? They vary greatly in quality.You can actually use open questions to become more assertive at work, in your private life, to be heard and to avoid conflicts.
The next time you are in a small conflict, disagreement or misunderstanding then think of asking your counterpart an open question. Instead of using your energy on raising your voice to be heard or interrupt to have your say, then run through the following trigger words for open questions and find a question that you can ask your counterpart.
Trigger words for open questions:
HOW – WHY – WHEN – WHO – WHICH – WHAT – WHERE
Try it out – take small steps towards becoming more assertive!
At NaviMinds we actually believe that an increased awareness of the power of open questions can increase flight safety. Although most are aware of the difference between open and closed questions only few are skilled using them.
Open questions are an important aspect of effective communication. Communication again is an essential part of a safe operation. It lays the foundation for effective leadership, decision making and conflict management.
It is for these reasons we believe that airlines can positively benefit from heightening their crews´ awareness of open questions techniques. We are so convinced that we have created several lesson plans that evolve around this topic. The topic is also greatly represented on our training courses. Not only do we want people to know. We encourage them to practice and gain the skills.