Methods for more repartee: questions and counter questions

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The question as a rhetorical form has been considered by the philosophers of classical antiquity as the> Queen of rhetoric< designated. True masters were not the ones who could answer but those who asked grandly and made an answer almost impossible.

Methods for more repartee: Ask questions and counter questions

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Here writes for you: Petra Schächtele-Philipp is a trainer and rhetorician. Profile
Here writes for you: Peter Kensok is Peter Kensok is communication trainer, coach and psychotherapist. Profile

Questions as an elegant form of rhetoric


A good question is always more elegant than a bad answer. Questions are sovereign and constructive. They solve the other known answer reflex and force him to do the work himself, which he just wanted to recharge. Really artful questions are factual, constructive - and brief.

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If the correct answer to a question is> yes <or> no <, we speak of closed questions. Open questions, on the other hand, require detailed answers and usually start with W question words: who, how, when, what, where, what ... Statistically, 90 percent of all questions are closed. Only 10 percent are unanswered questions and thus the favorites of the really elegant and ready to use questioner!

Closed vs. open questions


  • "You have absolutely no experience!"
  • "Are you serious?", Here is a closed question that hits the questioner like a boomerang: "Yeah, sure!"

Instead, openly ask, "What knowledge do you think I lack exactly?"

To answer this open question, your opponent must think about it and switch from emotion to logic. You have his Impuls interrupted and redirected! As you think, you can take a deep breath and plan your next steps.

Each argument is vulnerable


Every argument is vulnerable and can be questioned:

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  • "What exactly do you mean / speaks against XY ...?"
  • "What exactly do you mean by ...?"
  • "What do you compare ...?"
  • "What would have to be so YX does not apply?"
  • "What should I do, change ...?"
  • "What's up for you ...?"
  • "What do you understand under…?"

Questions take the others seriously. This can go so far as to make him unpleasant and he must recognize that his objections have neither hand nor foot.

Asking questions we recommend as a quick-witted method especially introvert people. One of their typical characteristics is that they question and thoroughly think through everything. To formulate questions well is much easier for them than extroverted characters. With the method> questions <you can make a wonderful strength out of its apparent weakness.

Means against counter questions


If your counterparty also contests counter-issues, best cover your own protection strategy:

  • "What would you have done in my situation?"
  • "That's not what it is about!"

Reasonable responses to the statement:

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  • "I asked first!" Can be:
  • "I'll gladly tell you that after answering my question."
  • "I want to answer your question. And you are kind enough to explain what you are aiming for. "
  • "In order to answer your question correctly, I need additional information."

Pay particular attention to generalizations and comparisons unrelated like: always, never, all, none, better, worse. In such a case ask, for example:

  • "Worse in comparison to what?"

Sometimes you get the answer:

  • "That is a difficult question."

Be careful not to repair. But remember this mechanism for your counterpart. Then wait patiently for an answer. Your counterpart may have convictions, which are really worth it.

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