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Closed questions

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Closing the conversation > Closed questions

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A simple way to close down a conversation or topic is not to open it up!

Paraphrase what has been said and use closed questions to test the truth of these.

When they ask you an open question or otherwise act to sustain the conversation, give a short answer and immediately grab control by asking a closed question in return.

Example

That's an interesting thought. Are you ready now?

So, you want to go to France this summer, is that right?

Do you know what you want now?

Discussion

Open questions lead to long answers, whilst closed questions lead to short answers, typically one word, such as 'yes' and 'no'.

When you are forcing the other person to give short answers, this legitimizes short comments on your side. This leads to a spiral of brevity that quickly ends the conversation.

See also

Open and Closed questions, Short answers, Assumption principle, Closure principle

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