Direct questions

It is part of being human to have questions, thoughts and a lot of feelings about [x]. How can you have more answers, educated guesses, certainty and informed feelings based on ideas and knowledge?

Ask direct questions clears the air

If you ask someone a direct question you will have a better understanding of what you have to do, know and think. How can you do this?

Home life
Asking who wants dinner today will allow you to make sure you put enough on. Remember to be direct and specific when asking home life questions. Who wants dinner is different than who wants dinner in an hour.
Work life
Asking what format your organisation uses for reports will allow you to produce a very good report. Are you stuck on a task in work? Ask another employee “how do I…”.
What are you stuck on? Ask someone a direct question based on this.
Personal life
Are you thinking about what someone said? Ask them what did they mean by [what they said]. Being direct does not mean you will argue it clears the air. Remember that you can agree to disagree!

Tact and situation

There will be times when direct questions are inappropriate (see the comment below this blog post) so you will need to use you instinct and decide whether or not a direct question is suitable. Like life itself there must be a balance and it is up to you to find this happy medium, if you like, to do ask the right type of question in any given situation.

Direct questions are great because they usually have direct answers. Direct questions are also specific, thus clear. Be specific, within the question, name the person you are speaking to and put a realistic time-frame within the question.

Directness works in all aspects of your life. Having direct answers allows you to understand something better. If you can understand something you are likely to enjoy it, be happy and thought-free.


8 thoughts on “Direct questions

  1. Along with a direct question, there are times that people will refuse to respond or be reluctant to answer. A softening by asking a few indirect questions, and then lead into the direct question. During a police interview, at times this will be necessary as not to cause further shock to crime victims of terrible occurrences and many times, for instance, direct question asked first or immediately will have a person charged with a crime to become defensive. “Did you assault so-and-so?”, can be asked first as, “When this happened, did you hit so-and-so?”. From there you would listen and ask, “Right fist in the face of so-and-so, like this, or from the side like this, into so-and-so’s face?”. There may be motives on the part of the other person that you need to subtly extract. There may also be trauma of the other party that you need to have them get past and say explicitly what happened or give answer, in order to properly pursue the matter in correct fashion.
    Many people will also think that you are trying to “get a leg up” on them and they too, have tendency to become hostile at the moment and then they go about to sully your reputation. There will also be times when absolutely nothing except an aggressive and straight forward question must be asked. Tact, is the key, for any given situation. You must also develop skill sufficient to be a good listener. Do not interject or interfere when answers are given and always give undivided attention to the speaker. It is respectful, sincere, and wise. In a police role, in uniform you are an authority figure and must always have control of any situation outright. As an investigator, the approach may require a softer non-intimidating course of action to have people open up candidly to you, and your line of questioning in a civil and caring manner.
    Asking questions, is indeed, an art. There are many good artists, and there are many poor artists. Practice and develop technique and skill organic of yourself upon the broad canvas which is life.

      • I forgot to reply to that comment a few days’ ago. That Google search you did matched the wrong Gerald Murphy because I do not go to Oxford ! A fantastic university but not for me, right now, at this moment in time.

      • And, I forgot to tell you, that once upon a time, I, was called “Murphy” by many people because of my prowess close quarters with a good, night stick! Yes, could put a good spin on a 26″ police night stick, and had “a few notches” on it. All the rookies used to want me to teach them how its done. If you ever see an old US television program of the 1980s called “the Blue Knight”, the opening, is always of a police officer walking and the night stick spinning. The nickname “Bumper” for the character “Bumper Morgan”, was used, but before that, you were simply called, “Murphy”, or “Murphy the Cop”. He was a straight arrow of a man. Good, and decent.

  2. I have tried being direct but most of the time I suck at it, most people avoid my questions in my personal and work life. I usually beat around the bush, but I am going to try and be more firm :)

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