2011-9-27 15:11:29 Lucy
? Questioning Techniques 提问技巧
Reasons for asking questions:
To obtain information
To find out the opinions of other people
To ask other people to contribute ideas
To find out the reasons behind events
To seek confirmation
The status of the questioner
The questioner may have an official need to ask questions - work-role, legal power, etc., or the questioner may have an entirely personal curiosity to satisfy. If the role is official, the questioner needs to choose the questioning style with care in order to produce the required results. Questioning can be quite a threatening activity in some circumstances. For example, if the questioner wants information , then the person who has that information may feel that s/he is being asked to give up something that represents an advantage. If the questioner is merely curious in a social setting , then the important point is the level of delicacy of the question. In most cultures, very personal details such as how much money we earn is too private to form the subject of questions by others.
Choices of question style
Closed v. open
Closed questions permit only ’yes’/’no’ answers. They may therefore be more threatening than open questions because they leave no room for expansion or explanation. The questioner needs to decide if it would be more tactful to ask:
Have you finished that report yet?
How are you getting on with that report?
The first question implies that the report is now due; the second merely asks for a progress statement. The open question allows the respondent to elaborate and does not have overtones of authority.
Wh- type questions
Questions starting with question words: what, when, why, who, how, are open questions but they are also very direct. Too many questions like this have the flavour of an interrogation and may make the person being questioned feel uncomfortable. It may be necessary to preface the questions with phrases that show the questioner is aware of the intrusiveness of the question:
May I ask you…
Could you tell me…
Would you mind telling me…
I wonder if I could ask you….
I would be interested in knowing…
If it’s not indiscreet, may I ask ….
I know it’s not really my business, but….
Facilitative styles of asking questions
If the intention of the questioner is really to prompt the interlocutor in disclosing information freely, then question techniques may not be appropriate at all. Instead it might be better to echo and to reformulate in order to give the interlocutor the opportunity to expand.
A. Well, I live in a flat in a rather poor part of town.
B. Poor part of town…?
A. Yes, it’s quite dirty and the streets are badly lit. That’s why I don’t like going out alone at night.
B. So you’re frightened to go out alone?
A. Well, yes because we hear of attacks and muggings. That’s why I want to leave.
In this dialogue, speaker B doesn’t try to take the initiative, but merely echoes and reformulates to prompt speaker A to say what worries her.