Telling Better Business Stories by Asking Better Questions

If you want to get better at Business Storytelling, mastering the art of questioning is crucial. Try to be more curious and explore better questions continually?

Telling Better Business Stories by Asking Better Questions
Photo by Ana Municio / Unsplash

If you want to get better at Business Storytelling, mastering the art of questioning is crucial. Try to be more curious and explore better questions continually?

It all starts with Why

Asking the question "why" is one of the simplest yet most important questions when telling a better business story. It helps understand the underlying motivations and reasons behind a particular action or decision. For instance, when trying to assist a client in achieving a particular outcome, asking "why" it's important to them can provide insight into the benefits they seek, allowing you to align your capabilities to meet those needs more effectively.

Another crucial question to ask when crafting a business story is "how?" This question delves into the process and steps needed to achieve a specific goal and provides insight into a leader's line of sight in that area. By asking "how," you can gain a better understanding of the actions and strategies required to achieve success. For instance, asking your clients about their current processes or technology usage can give you a sense of their maturity levels and provide valuable insights into different areas of the business. This information can help identify opportunities for improvement, streamline operations and make better decisions.

In addition to these two questions, it is also essential to ask “what?” and “when?” These questions help you to understand the details and context of a story. For example, asking “what” a new product or service is can help you understand its features and capabilities while asking “when” it will be available can help you plan your marketing and sales efforts.

Asking the right questions is a vital factor of storytelling. However, it's critical to delve deeper by using various questions.

Great  questions fall into three categories:​

Consequence questions help to explore the possible outcomes or implications of a problem, decision, or strategy. They allow your audience to understand how things work, what might happen in different scenarios, and what opportunities may exist for further exploration or development.

Process questions reveal the steps and stages necessary for achieving something specific. Asking these questions helps to understand the inputs needed, resources required, and any obstacles that may prevent success.

Evaluative questions assist in assessing the value of something. They are instrumental when deciding whether something is cost-effective, will benefit customer service levels, or has potential areas for improvement. This can lead to different avenues such as training staff, creating customer rewards schemes, or offering more flexible pricing structures.

In conclusion, asking better questions is essential for telling better business stories. By using a variety of question types, you can gain a deeper understanding of your subject and create more compelling stories for your audience.