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Underrated Skill:
Asking Great Questions

The best way to learn is to ask great questions.

It doesn’t matter if you are talking with an expert, reading a book or brainstorming alone — focusing your effort by asking great questions is key.

Great questions focus your energy. They help you determine what is (and isn’t) important and retain the information that matters.

Here are 10 great questions that work in all kinds of situations?

  1. What information do you need to make the decision?
  2. What are the biggest assumptions that drive this option / person / view?
  3. What are the primary influences on this opinion / person / view?
  4. Why does this matter?
  5. Who are the stakeholders? Who does this impact?
  6. How has this changed over the last (year / decade / month)?
  7. Who is protecting the status quo?
  8. Where have I seen these patterns before?
  9. What are the potential downsides? upsides? Most likely outcome?
  10. What is out of my control about this situation?