Marriage Makeover – Day 10

Powerful Listening and Open-ended Questions

Conversations flow so much more easily and openly when you ask open-ended questions as opposed to closed-ended questions. Open-ended questions often result in a deeper, lengthier response, help you learn more about a person or situation, and can help the person on the receiving end of the question feel more valued.  Let’s take a moment to define closed-ended and open-ended questions.

Closed-Ended Questions

Closed-ended questions can be answered with only a “yes” or “no” or a single word or phrase.

Examples:

  • May I go to the bathroom?
  • What day are you going to the dentist?
  • Can we go to the grocery store?
  • Will you help me with my homework?
  • Have you emptied the dishwasher?
  • Where were you born?
  • Is that all you’re going to do?
  • Were you planning on going to the dance?
  • Do you need some help?

 

Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions require more than one-word answers and usually begin with WHAT, HOW, WHERE and WHO.

Examples:

  • What is your plan for finishing your homework?
  • How are you getting to the grocery store?
  • Where would you like to spend your vacation?
  • What’s your favorite food?
  • How can I be more helpful around the house?
  • What would help you to feel more supported?
  • What is it like to be a 1st grader?
  • Who is your greatest hero?

Open-ended questions beginning with WHY should be avoided because WHY generally has more of an accusatory feeling that might lead to defensiveness. Instead of asking, “Why did you spill the flour?” you might ask “What was happening that led up to the flour being spilled?”

Conversations flow so much more easily and openly when you ask open-ended questions as opposed to closed-ended questions. Open-ended questions often result in a deeper, lengthier response, help you learn more about a person or situation, and can help the person on the receiving end of the question feel more valued.  Let’s take a moment to define closed-ended and open-ended questions.

 

How to Turn a Closed-Ended Question Into an Open-Ended Question

  • Where did you go to high school? -> What did you enjoy most about high school?
  • Are you going to talk to her? -> What could you say to her to improve this situation?
  • Do you hate your brother? -> What things are causing you to feel frustrated with your brother?
  • Are you offended? -> How did that situation make you feel?
  • Do you like hiking? -> What are your favorite outdoor activities?
  • Are you unfulfilled? -> How can you incorporate more of what you love in life?
  • Do you think self care is important? -> What is one thing you can do for yourself each day?
  • Do you think our marriage sucks? -> Where do you think we can go from here?
  • Do you have any goals? -> If there was no risk of failure, what would you try in life?
  • Are you just going to give up? -> What can we do to overcome this obstacle?
  • Do you love your life? -> In what ways is your life perfect for you?

 

Powerful Listening: This is so much more than listening to your partner’s words! This is your chance to connect spirit to spirit and heart to heart as you exchange energy. Practice powerful eye contact, and show deep validation and love for your spouse through powerful listening.

Challenge: Practice the Art of Open-ended Questions and powerful listening with your spouse. This brings a sense of validation, love and connection.

 

<< Go to Day 9

Back to Marriage Makeover HOME Page

JOIN THE WAITLIST

Pop your details below and we'll let you know as soon as the Vibrant Happy Women's Club is open for enrollment

FOUR PART VIDEO SERIES

Almost there! Please complete this form and click the button below to gain instant access.