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5 Tips for Asking Valuable Questions and Avoiding the Easy Ones

Asking questions is an essential skill for learning and growth. It can help us gain knowledge, solve problems, and spark new ideas. However, not all questions are created equal. Some questions are a waste of time, while others can lead to valuable insights and a deeper understanding of a topic. In this article, we will provide five tips for asking better questions.

Do Your Research First

Before asking a question, it’s essential to do some research to see if the answer can be easily found online. With the abundance of information available at our fingertips, it’s likely that someone else has already asked the same question and received an answer. If the answer is readily available on a search engine, it’s best to avoid asking the question.

That being said, not all questions have clear-cut answers. Some may require more in-depth research, or the answer may not be available online. In these cases, asking for guidance on where to find the answer can be appropriate.

Ask Specific and Focused Questions

When asking a question, it’s important to be specific and focused on the topic you’re interested in. This will help ensure that the answer you receive is relevant and valuable. Avoid broad or open-ended questions that may not have a clear answer. Instead, ask questions that are tailored to the expertise of the person you’re speaking with.

For example, instead of asking a broad question like “How can I improve my writing skills?”, consider asking a more specific question like “What are some effective strategies for improving my grammar?” This type of question is more likely to elicit a valuable response.

Ask for Opinions and Experiences

While it’s tempting to ask for factual information that can be easily found online, asking for opinions or experiences can lead to a more engaging conversation and provide insights that may not be readily available online. This can be particularly useful in situations where you’re seeking advice or guidance.

For example, if you’re starting a new business and seeking advice from a mentor, asking about their experiences in starting a business can provide valuable insights and lessons learned that may not be found in a book or online.

Use Questions to Spark a Deeper Conversation

Questions can be a powerful tool for sparking a deeper conversation or exploring a topic in more detail. Use questions as a way to dig deeper into a topic and gain a more nuanced understanding. This can lead to more valuable insights and a more productive conversation.

For example, if you’re discussing a controversial topic with someone, asking questions can help you understand their perspective and why they hold their views. This can lead to a more productive conversation where both parties can learn from each other.

Be Respectful of the Person’s Time

When asking a question, be respectful of the person’s time and expertise. Avoid asking questions that are too basic or irrelevant to the conversation, and be mindful of their schedule and workload. If you’re unsure if a question is appropriate or relevant, ask for permission to ask the question before diving in.

For example, if you’re in a meeting with a busy executive, avoid asking questions that can be easily answered by a quick Google search. Instead, ask specific questions that demonstrate your understanding of the topic and respect for their time.


In conclusion, asking effective questions is a valuable skill that can help us gain knowledge, solve problems, and spark new ideas. By doing our research, asking specific and focused questions, seeking opinions and experiences, using questions to spark deeper conversations, and being respectful of the person’s time, we can make the most out of our interactions and conversations, and avoid wasting time on irrelevant or unproductive questions.