• Charlotte Duckworth

The power of framed questions and how to use them



It is no secret that asking questions is essential to build connections with others.


The risk of asking lots of questions is we can end up in an exhausting and boring ‘ping-pong’ conversation.


“How are you?” “Fine thanks, how are you?”

“How is everything going?” “Yes good thanks, you?”

“Anything changed for you recently?” ”Not really, what about you?”


It can end up feeling like an interview rather than a valuable conversation and we don’t find out anything about the other person, or build the relationship.


The key is to ask the right type of questions, so that the conversation flows, feels human and shows you are genuinely interested in the other person.


One of the best types of questions to ask is a framed question. This is a question framed in insight you already have about the other person. This technique is often used by podcast hosts and presenters to build trust and encourage their guests and interviewees to open up and share more.


Why are they so effective? Through our question we can simultaneously show our understanding, build trust and credibility whilst still focusing on them.


We can frame questions in:


1. Knowledge

2. Research

3. Stories



How to frame questions in our knowledge


Let’s say we want to ask:

How do you plan to measure the impact you have on your clients?


We can frame this question in our knowledge from a past conversation:

Last time you mentioned measuring your impact as a key priority, how do you plan to measure the impact you have on your clients?


The value? We are demonstrating that we care, showing we have listened and this builds trust.

How to frame questions in research


If we want to ask:

How are you planning to change your strategic asset allocations?


We can frame the question in our research:

We noticed that you have updated your strategy to be more focused on sustainability, how are you planning to change your strategic asset allocations?


How to frame questions in a story


Framing a question in a story about what others are doing can be effective, as this provides social proof and encourages the other person to open up and share more:


Three people I’ve spoken to this week have mentioned challenges retaining team members, what plans do you have to motivate your team and keep them engaged?


Three key takeaways

  1. We can frame questions in our knowledge of the other person, research we have done or in a story

  2. We can frame questions to provide social proof of what others are doing and encourage the other person to open up and share more

  3. Framed questions build credibility. They show that you care, have listened and this builds trust

How do you plan to use more framed questions?


If you would like to learn more about asking the right type of questions, then we would love to hear from you.




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