LeadU presents Closed-End vs. Open-End Questions

LeaderW@RE

TPOVs @F-L-O-W

Closed-End vs. Open-End Questions

In this TPOV, I’m making a case for the efficacy of closed-end questions under an increasing array of conditions.  I’ll address ‘active listening’ at some future point, but for now, the question side and the case for using Closed-End Questions, such as questions that answered yes or no.

I’m not suggesting my case is true, only a case.  In the end, which almost always is only a beginning, whatever works is probably true, and if it’s not, perhaps it should be.  <G>

Most people think, because of BS conditioning, that open-ended questions are the ones that are the most valuable….

ONLY if you like noise!  As complexity in language and thought grows, noise has become exponential.

In addition, an open-ended question to an introvert may often produce silence<G>, or worse, scripts that merely repeat over and over, in addition to producing the formulaic yes and no, that is for sure.

However, don’t worry about using closed-end questions because people for the most part (those that are stepping into development) are closed organizationally, but open energetically, as in dissipative theory.  

So the type of question you want now is a pointed question to identify a signal.  This allows you to cut through the noise.  We are all time constrained as long as we are living BS, and everyone is right now, or so it seems.  I know I am time constrained, and I’m moving FLOS forward in my own life as rapidly as the scaffolding can be designed.

People who don’t want to act openly with a closed-end question are going to just be noisy with an open-ended one, should they even attempt it.  That is more likely to be more obfuscating (not clear or confusing) than not…if they don’t see opportunity in the closed-end, for a yes/no but…!

I like closed-end questions that start with some of my favorites.  You will have to pick yours.
is
isn’t
was
wasn’t
could
couldn’t
can
can’t
will
won’t
don’t
should
shouldn’t
would
wouldn’t

Helpful Hint: Today, unless it’s a timeLESS conversation, time and resource drains are constraints (BS).  He who can do the most with the least, wins (BS).  However, it’s still the key until we figure out something different.

Dynamic inquiry is a transitioning approach to it with FLOS… and sits in the gap between FLOS and BS, if you wish.

< strong>Action Step: A closed-end question can be answered with a yes, or no.  IF someone answers that way, and no more… it is a signal.  Use silence if they do… if they STILL don’t take the lead, it’s another signal.  If they do take it and run, once they have permission from you by your silence, there is a signal in there, as well.



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We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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