Ask the Right Questions

George Stephanopoulos

Lesson time 14:37 min

Questions are key to almost any communication. George shares his strategy for prompting revealing conversations, teaches students the power of yes/no questions, and outlines the importance of prioritizing your most important questions.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Ask the Right Questions * Questions 101 * Dig Deeper With Simple Questions * "And?" * The Yes or No Questions * Cut to the Chase * It's Not About You


[MUSIC PLAYING] INTERVIEWER: Why is good questioning a useful skill for any communicator, not just an interviewer, but anyone? - If you ask the right questions, you learn. That's the most simple answer. If you ask the right questions, you find out the weakness in your own arguments. If you ask the right questions, you can often figure out a solution that you hadn't thought of before. I mean, that's part of-- in interviewing you're asking a question to make new news. In real life or in the workplace, you're asking a question to get a new insight, to get a new sense of the direction you want to go in. So you have to think about that as you're going through your job. If you ask the right questions in the right way and you're persistent, you might get an honest answer. Everyone's familiar with the basic questions. In any kind of communication, these are the key questions to ask. Who is involved? What is happening? Where? Give me the location. When? What's the date and time? Why? What was the motivation here? And how? What was the process that made it happen? Who, what, when, where, why, and how has you covered for that absolutely core information. But let's get beyond the basics. - There are different kinds of questions for different kinds of interviews, for different kinds of encounters, for different kinds of relationships. I mean, often you're asking questions just to learn, just to find out more about someone. And the best way to do that is to ask the most open ended questions. If someone tells you-- this is a simple example-- someone tells you I'm having a bad day. Well, why? You know, get a little more. Dig a little deeper. Often, you know, sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. They just simply want to give their opinion, state what they wanted to say and move on. And the first time you do it, it may feel a little intrusive, it may feel a little uncomfortable. But you also may get a surprising answer, you learn something, and you'll create a connection with the person. That can also be a confrontational question. To simply-- for someone to explain themselves. Probably the most famous example in American political history is Roger Mudd asking Ted Kennedy back when he was running for president in 1980 why he wanted to be president. - Why do you want to be president? - Well, I'm-- uh, - And Kennedy gave a rambling several minute answer that wasn't really an answer that kind of crippled his campaign before it began. - The reasons that I would run is because I have a great belief in this country that it is-- has more natural resources than any nation of the world. - You know, you can learn a lot about how someone thinks by asking a simple question like that. - And I would basically feel that-- that it's imperative for this country to either move forward, that it can't stand still, or otherwise, it moves backward. - And the word "how." You learn-- si...

About the Instructor

Legendary interviewer and broadcaster George Stephanopoulos has navigated challenging interviews for more than 30 years—as former White House communications director and presently as co-anchor of Good Morning America. Now he’s teaching you how to project confidence under pressure and draw the best value from your own professional and personal interactions, becoming a stronger, more intentional communicator.

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George Stephanopoulos

Award-winning interviewer George Stephanopoulos teaches you his techniques for producing authentic, meaningful conversations.

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