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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

I have a question

There’s an art to asking the right questions. Just ask my students. One of my favorite classes in the cross-platform journalism class I teach is the class in which the students interview me.

On the surface, it seems quite easy.

All they have to do is ask questions. 

I promise the students up front that I will answer whatever they ask.

It usually only takes one or two questions for the class to erupt into gales of laughter.

Limiting questions will get you limiting answers.

Yes, or No? Yes, or No. Totally unhelpful when the goal is to glean insights.

Asking about feelings and thoughts garner better answers.

Know when to use “how” or “why”.

There isn’t always one specific answer.

I love asking questions that lead to more questions.

Asking the right questions will get the right answers. 

Or, at the very least, will help you get insights.

Or, lead you closer to solving a problem.

Or, serve as a jump point for the next question.

In journalism. UX. Research. And life, really.

There is an art to asking questions. And the first step is to practice doing it.

Always ask questions.

Always listen to what is being said. It may not be the answer. It could be the first part of what you need to know to find out what you want to know. And then, you’ll ask another question.




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