The Four Natures of the Question

Different questions have different natures. Nature is defined as the inherent character of a person or thing. Understanding the inherent (in-built) character of a question is the key to success as a leader, coach teacher and even as a parent and spouse.

The inherent character of a question will largely determine the response for that question. I believe there are four basic natures of questions. These are: 1) Closed ended, 2) Open ended, 3) Rhetorical, and 4) Statement. Each nature solicits a different mode of response.

One of these natures causes the listener to use static recall, not engaging the higher order thought processes. Unfortunately, this is the type question most used in business, churches, classrooms, and even casual conversation. The other three nature’s of a question cause the listener’s brain to activate the cognitive skills of the brain, engaging the higher order thought processes described in chapter seven of COACHING: A Way of Leadership, A Way of Life.

Without engaging the higher order thought processes we cannot cause a learning experience or assist someone to move forward in his life. Understanding the Nature’s of questions will assist anyone in helping others.

Learning to use the proper natured questions at the right time will be critical in leading others in business and in family affairs. Read what Pastor Jason Price writes:

“George Yates is a master at asking questions. Even before Reading, Coaching: A Way of Leadership a Way of Life, I have seen first-hand how coaching can radically change the culture within a church, his coaching helped change ours!  George masterfully uses the art of asking the right questions, to lead churches and people on a road to self-discovery, helping them identify the God-given purpose for their church. The principles taught in, Coaching, are highly practical and transferable to any setting. They reveal the personal insights of an effective coach with decades of experience. If you have a desire to revolutionize the way you lead in your professional or church life, you need to read this book!”  R. Jason Price Senior Pastor Cornerstone Baptist Church, Nicholasville, KY.

George Yates is a coach and Church Health Specialist, assisting individuals, organizations, and churches in fulfilling their God-given purpose.