Are you open OR closed?!

Closed Questions vs Open Questions

(What’s the difference?)

A closed question usually has only one or two answers that lead you to a dead end.  And open question has the potential for multiple answers which can lead you anywhere!


What’s the impact?

Closed questions stop and stunt any creative thinking for the one being questioned. They are a dead end. Once answered, the conversation is over. Closed questions can be a cover up for unsolicited advice. They have potential for pushing an agenda and judging decisions that have already been made. 

Open questions create an environment that makes a person feel safe, heard and supported. They fuel and demand creativity. They push people beyond their unseen boundaries. They help people to look outside the box they didn’t know they were stuck inside. They also keep the flow of conversation going. There are no dead ends, leaving wide open spaces to explore. 

Some examples...

Closed: Have you created a resume yet?

Open: What do you need to do to prepare for your upcoming job interview?


Closed: Do you have other things your passionate about?

Open: What other things are you passionate about?

Closed: How many kids do you have?

Open: Please tell me about your kids?

The possibilities…

To change from a closed question to an open question is usually very slight and insignificant. Yet, the conversation goes from dead ends to uncapping thousands of possibilities. This goes for coaching situations or cordial conversations in any environment. 

What kind of questions are you asking?

Guest Blog written by Katrina Randall