Mastering the Art of Asking Good Questions: Unlocking the Power of Curiosity

Sep 11, 2023

We believe that any question can be asked - it’s just a matter of how. But the how is what matters when it comes to asking good questions. Getting to the crux of a client’s challenge more than often means treading through some difficult thematic territory. Every business has those burning questions that seem taboo to even vocalize to colleagues, never mind ask and probe on with their customers.

Obvious examples such as research on undergarments or dating apps readily come to mind. However, in our experience, every research topic comes with some level of engaging with taboo. We are, after all, digging deep into how people live, behave, feel and experience their worlds in all the richness that humanity brings!

How do we not shy away from topics of discomfort and encourage participants to bring their full selves and truths to the table? It lies in the art of asking good questions.

Building rapport and trust is at the forefront of every assignment. In groups especially, creating a non-judgmental environment through tone and expectation setting helps put participants at ease. Lightening the mood through humour can be one strategy to deploy! Normalizing conversation on hot topics by role-modeling and emotional regulation is a powerful approach. Careful phrasing, including knowing and using language participants are most familiar and comfortable with, creates a sense of safety among peers.

All of these tricks and tools mean we’re excited by a juicy topic! We know how to make the most of it, while also assessing limits and respecting boundaries.  

Your business might be able to avoid talking about underwear, sex or elimination. However, the Art of Asking Questions comes in useful during a pandemic when consumer sensitivities are ever-shifting; It proves essential when talking about social dynamics such as racism or classism (and other ‘-isms’); It’s required when talking about money, relationships or emotions; It’s needed to navigate politicized topics like climate change or health choices are part and parcel of consumer worlds.

If you’re getting squeamish about a burning consumer curiosity, take a moment to exhale. You can whisper or email it to us and we’ll be happy to have the conversation in all its discomfort on your behalf! We are hear and are happy to be asking good questions on your behalf to help you understand your customers.