Open Questions

October 12, 2011

in the generous life

Seth Godin had a remarkable “communication” post that is a great follow up to yesterday’s tip.  He shared about how you want to ask “open” questions rather than “closed” questions when trying to engage people. 

“Closed” questions typically can be answered with a brief answer or a simple “yes” or “no.”  They tend to shut down further conversation.  “Did you have a good day?”  “Will you take out the trash this evening?”

“Open” questions would be more like, “What did you think of today’s sermon?” or “Where would you like to be in five years?”  They invite more thorough talk about a subject and engage both questioner and questionee.  Be sure to take in not just your husband’s words, but also tone of voice, facial expression, and body language.  Those nuances in communication can give you a great deal of insight into your sweetie.


I’ve written a guest post for – Your Life is Today


Be generous! Lori <><

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

reinamara October 12, 2011 at 8:30 am

I remember to ask those questions with my kiddos, too. It’s easy for the little ones to respond with a simple, “yes”, “no” or “good”. But when you ask “What did you do in art class today?” They can respond with a more expanded answer.


uk Fred October 14, 2011 at 4:33 am

You are so right about the non-verbal part of communication, Lori.

I remember being taught that only around 7% of the total communication comes from the actual words, and that around 46% is down to tone and vocal inflections. The remainder is all down to body language and facial expression. Just think of all the different ways a husband can say, “Yes dear” to his wife and you’ll catch my drift.


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