Don’t ask multiple choice questions

From The one conversational tool that will make you better at absolutely everything by Shane Snow:

When people are nervous, they tend to ramble, and their questions tend to trail off into series of possible answers. (“What’s the most effective way to find a good programmer? Is it to search on Monster or to go on LinkedIn or to talk to people you know or … uh… uh… yeah, is it to, um…is there another job site that’s good …?”)

You’re the one with the question; why are you doing all the talking? Terminate the sentence at the question mark. It’s OK to be brief.

On that note, learn to be comfortable with silence. Allow your respondent to think; don’t jump in with possible answers after a few seconds pass. You won’t get answers if you keep talking, and you’ll rarely learn anything if you offer all the answers.

(1) Compare to Mark Suster’s wide (and uninterrupted) questions.
(2) Thank you Zvi Provisor for the tip.

2 thoughts on “Don’t ask multiple choice questions

  1. Pingback: How committed you are as a founder? A simple litmus test | A Founder's Notebook

  2. Pingback: How to ask the right questions when checking references | A Founder's Notebook

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