Who, what, why, where and how? The five questions reporters are taught must be answered.
Yes or no? The kind of question that salespeople are taught to avoid in favor of “yes or yes” questions.
Closed end questions where you get data but little information. These are like “yes or no” questions.
Open ended questions where you get information in free-form format. You’ll get lots of information but it may be hard to categorize into meaningful data.
Multiple choice questions where you get some data and some information, depending upon the choices you offer. And you may not find out the real answers if you haven’t provided the right answer choices. So should you include “other?”
Why? Questions where you are looking for the root cause of something.
So many questions, so many choices. So how do you choose which kinds of questions to ask? And how do you make sure that you don’t bias the answers by biasing the questions (which, by the way, is a very common occurrence!).
So many questions, so many methods. Then there’s this question: Which method to use to ask the questions? Polls on social media? Online surveys, emailed or embedded in websites? Pop-up windows, as annoying as many people find them and whose use by themselves can bias the answers. Street corner personal polls?
So many questions, so many people. And who should we ask? How much time and money do we have to ask our questions? What incentives do we provide to people for answering our questions?
I think I’m beginning to see that each question creates additional questions! Do you think I’m right about that? Why do you think I’m right – or wrong – about that? What is your opinion about questions? Should they be “yes or no,” “yes or yes,” multiple choice, open or closed? Or should they be “probing” questions?
I think I need your help to answer some of these questions. Could you please take a few minutes to provide me with your opinion? I’ll share your answers with my readers and make you famous if you’d like the attribution. Just let me know one way or the other, OK?
Thanks for reading. Please share this post. And please do provide me with your comments. Or with your questions. They are very valuable and I, or other readers, might be able to provide you with some answers.