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Exploring the when, why and how of effective questioning. Jacky Roddy AIRS 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring the when, why and how of effective questioning. Jacky Roddy AIRS 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring the when, why and how of effective questioning. Jacky Roddy AIRS 2012

2 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

3 Why Ask Questions Build rapport Complete an assessment Get the facts Guide the conversation Clarify and Confirm Understanding

4 BUILD RAPPORT People 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

5 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.

6 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

7 GET THE FACTS urgency (how quickly do they need the service?) who the service is for? health status age family composition previous attempts at getting help for the situation address or general location access to the Internet

8 GUIDE THE CONVERSATION As 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

9 CLARIFY AND CONFIRM UNDERSTANDING Asking directly if your understanding of the situation is correct goes a long way in avoiding misunderstanding

10 QUESTIONING SKILLS Asking 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.

11 Types of Questions Open Questions Closed Questions Funnel Questions Probing Questions Leading Questions Reflective Questions

12 Open Questions Builds relationship, tells the client you are interested Provides detail Allows for empathetic listening Elicit responses that are more than one or two words What happened when…How do you feel… CAUTION Easy to loose control of interaction and keep the client on track

13 Closed Questions Typically yes/no response or short answer Provides essential facts, (postal code, age) Getting talkative clients back on track Closing a call CAUTION May feel like an interrogation Can shut down a conversation particularly if the answer is unknown

14 Funnel Technique Involves starting with a general question then narrowing to the more specific Have you contacted any services regarding...? Yes a few. What services have you tried? The XYZ and ABC What 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

15 Probing Probing questions are used to check for more detail or clarification Cannot be planned in advance Difficult to construct therefore often avoided Essential to a complete and thorough needs assessment

16 TIPS FOR PROBING QUESTIONS Check 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.

17 Concentric Circles of Comfort, Risk & Danger Comfort Zone - At ease, place to retreat to, place where the client is seeking affirmation for decision made Risk Zone – Place of learning, often where our first time callers might be just in calling us Danger Zone - full of defenses, fears, red-lights, desire for escape. Not a productive place for you or the client to work from

18 GOOD PROBING QUESTIONS Dont place blame on anyone Allow for multiple responses Empower the client Avoid yes/no responses Are usually brief Move thinking from reaction to reflection

19 PROBING STEMS What do you think would happen if…? How was…different from…? What is the connection between…and…? What other approaches have you considered...? CAUTION Dont 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.

20 Leading Leading 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

21 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? CAUTION Remember your are not a psychotherapist

22 QUESTIONING TECHNIQUES 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.

23 What to use when Using the 3C model: Contact – Ask open ended questions Clarification – Ask probing, funnel, and some closed questions Closure – Ask closed and reflective questions

24 What to use when Talkative Client – closed questions Hostile or Upset Client – Reflective Questions, Open Ended Questions Confused Client – Funnel Questions; Probing Questions Non trusting Client – Open Ended

25 Questioning Strategies Watch your timing Have a plan Ask permission Go from broad to narrow Use simple language, watch acronyms and technical terms Be non-threatening, non-manipulative and non-blaming Take a consultation approach, be empathetic and understanding

26 Summary Questions 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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