‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge

The main theme of this particular chapter was the use of questioning in communication, the chapter aims to elaborate on the science behind both basic and strategic questioning and why we use it in communication. Throughout, it discussed verbal and non-verbal messaging, questions in different contexts and the different uses of questioning (in a classroom, in court and so on).

Hargie makes the claim that children ask questions during their development and to support this, parents should do their best to respond to these questions (Cook, 2009). I agree with this statement because children will then build curiosity and feel listened to and important.

Hargie also makes a reference to Rudyard Kipling’s question classification of what, why, when, how, where and who. This reflects the information that someone would be looking to gain from and answer rather than how they present the question itself. Towards the end of the chapter, he lists Dillon’s (1990) possible answers to all questions. He acknowledges that respondent may choose not to answer using silence, refusal, changing the subject or use of humour. Dillon also suggests that the answer may be skewed by the respondent by lying, stalling, evading, withholding, answering the ‘real’ question or distortion. They also say that the last option is that the respondent will answer directly.

I personally disagree with the use of probing and persistent questioning used in Box 5.3 (pg 142) against a young child. The questioning technique used distresses the child and the question instead goes un-answered.

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