Open and Closed Questions

February 16, 2011Comments Off on Open and Closed Questions

You usually get a bigger response by asking closed questions. 

It's easy to answer a specific, closed, question. Do you think that {x} is better than {y}?How many times have you {x}? 

Open-ended questions require you to think. They require you to risk having entirely the wrong answer. They require more time and mental effort. That can be off-putting. 

It's often better to ask a few closed questions that people can answer to build their confidence before asking open questions. 

Think about this when you're stimulating discussions in your community.

Think about it in your profile questions too. Do you want to ask broad, generic, questions and solicit a personal biography? Or do you want a few specific, closed, answers to help people get started? 

So if you're struggling to get much of a response asking open-ended questions, try asking closed questions for a while instead. 


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