Ask LH: How Can I Come Up With Good Questions For Meetings?

Hi Lifehacker, At work we regularly have team meetings which are attended by an executive or upper management person. We get an opportunity to ask them questions. How do I come up with a good question? Thanks, Questionable

Conference picture from Shutterstock

Dear Questionable,

If you know who is presenting in advance, look them up on LinkedIn and come up with some questions that relate to their professional past. Most presenters enjoy answering questions that allow them to share personal anecdotes and it will also show them that you actually bothered to do some research.

You can also trawl for question ideas by reading interviews with famous professionals/thought leaders who work in a related industry. Other than that, try to focus on questions that give you definite tasks to perform. This guide could also provide some inspiration: it contains eight questions that will help to improve your relationship with your boss.

We're going to throw this one over to our readers: if you're a manager, what type of questions do you appreciate most from staff? And if you're an employee, which questions seemed to go down well with the higher-ups? Let Questionable know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    A question that relates to the meeting agenda would be best.

    Get to know the company's mission statement and latest strategy documents if they are available. Ask about how your team / project can align with the strategy, or better yet, come up with an idea along those lines and see what they think.

    From a manager's perspective, pay attention to the content... It's amazing how often people disengage - especially on teleconferences. If it's something along the lines of "please explain xxx a bit more", then that's cool. But if you ask why we are doing xxx 5 minutes after I just told you, then expect a facepalm.

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