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Why Entrepreneurs Should Embrace Asking Open-Ended Questions

For a variety of reasons, most people like asking questions to which they already know the answers. But in the entrepreneurial world, all breakthroughs are created by asking questions you don’t know the answers to. In this episode, Dan Sullivan explains how different types of questions lead to different results, and in which situations each type of question is best.

Here’s some of what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • The kinds of questions Dan would find insulting to ask his entrepreneurial clients.
  • Examples of better questions to ask than “yes or no” questions.
  • How to ask questions that will reinforce concepts.
  • How entrepreneurial learning differs in process and result from conformist learning.
  • Why it takes courage to start asking open-ended questions.

Show Notes:

Entirely new answers: Great questions generate entirely new, unpredictable answers.

What they want: Instead of asking a question with only one right answer, you can ask about what someone wants.

Involves experience: When a question involves someone’s personal experience, you can never know what the answer will be.

Prepared to learn: When you ask an open-ended question, you have to be prepared to learn from the unpredictable answer.

About asking questions: Coaching is about asking questions, and really good coaches ask really good questions.

Spur new questions: Unpredictable answers spur new, provocative questions.


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