The art of asking questions

To convince someone you will have to do more than just argue. Put the other in the spotlight with questions without straying too far from your own path. Read 5 useful tips from Debat.NL to ask good questions.

1. Learn more about the other

Your partner is not a cold robot but a human being with goals, dreams and depth. The better you know what motivates them, the easier they are to seduce. “What goal are you trying to reach with your position?”

2. Determine the subject

Things that are given attention grow. This also applies to a discussion. Put what you find important central by asking questions like : “I just talked about an important point in this discussion, what do you think?”

3. Control your agreements

You just gave a solid argument and nobody responds… are they all convinced? Make sure your message got across by asking : “Are you in agreement with me so far?”

4. Don’t go defensive

If your partner has a firm point of view, are you impressed? Don’t defend yourself, just ask the question: “Can you support that point of view?” The explanation that follows is often less convincing than the point of view.

5. Prevent resistance

Nobody likes talking with a debating machine. Permanently producing arguments calls for resistance. Give the other some space: “That’s what I think about this situation, what do you think?”

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