The Connection Between Asking Deeper Questions and Impacting Your Business

Instructional Design Tips
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Questions - Training InitiativeEvery training initiative is the culmination of a series of questions that usually begin with the basic, “How can we improve our sales?”, “Are employees meeting performance standards?” or “Are we in compliance?” The questions then escalate from there into more complex and probing queries.

Edward Hodnett wrote, “If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the A-B-C of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems.”

The days of “order-taking” or blind hope corporate training initiatives has gone the way of the floppy disk. Today’s learning officers need laser-focused training solutions able to meet tight budgets and even tighter ROI expectations from senior management.  This takes detailed planning, and planning requires answering the right questions.

The difference between asking the right questions and the wrong questions is the difference between a course that is widely utilized or withers on the network vine; a course that is relevant and engaging or has low completion rates; a course that produces long-term change or one that just gives employees a very expensive break.

According to Susan Barksdale and Teri Lund, “If these questions are not answered up front and quickly, the potential exists for wasting your time in needless activities or getting bogged down in useless detail resulting in a protracted, rather than rapid, analysis.”

If the turnout at our ANSWER Analysis presentations at the eLearning Guild and ISPI conferences is a reliable indicator, then the rapid needs analysis we’re talking about is becoming quite a popular topic among corporate learning officers. ANSWER is our proven formula for compiling available data for determining what questions need asking before proceeding.

As a result of using ANSWER to ask the impactful questions, learning officers are able to construct a clear blue print for the initiative’s objectives, strategies, outcomes and the all-important ROI.  And that will keep your CEO from asking bad questions like “why are we spending money on training”.

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  1. Asking insightful questions is a crucial skill for leaders, innovators, trainers, and curriculum developers today. We sometimes forget that good questions inspire others to think more deeply – and get to a solution faster than ever before. Speeding collaboration is one way your ANSWER approach can drive higher ROI for teams in virtually any area.