re: How do you train people to ask good questions VIEW POST


"Ask the poser to do her homework before posing a question"

The poser searches common resources (err, internet) trying to find an answer to the question before posing the question to a human. The initial search and, consequently, the failed attempts at arriving at an answer will help the poser refine her question or become aware of nuances/aspects that she should consider when posing the question to the next entity (human or machine).

I use this approach when I work with students. Initially, they find it frustrating. However, over time, they become better at researching answers and asking precise questions.

Of course, this means the recipient should be patient and be willing to ask clarifying questions to help the poser realize the nuances/aspects that she should consider. This takes effort and time but helps improve the quality of questions (if done diligently).


Ever answer back with "Click this link and look at third hit" (where "this link" is a LMGTFY link)? I know I tend to be snarky when the questioner has a history of lazy question-asking.


Sure. The above approach gives improvements only if done diligently. So, with new posers, there are lots of "did you search on all the common platforms (e.g., Search engine, SOF, concerned forums)?" questions. Such questions die off in a short time once the poser gets a hang of what to expect in interactions with me. If they don't get it, it is a matter of deciding "do I want to continue helping a lazy poser?"

code of conduct - report abuse