Ever ask an awkward question? We all have. Effective questioning is a skill that takes time to master. In his book Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counterintuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life, communication consultant Geoffrey Tumlin explores the dangerous territory of questions.

“In general, faulty questions are those we ask to indulge our personal, ‘I-based’ cravings to get an answer, to hammer home a point, or to satisfy a narrow, personal curiosity,” Tumlin says. “Whether they’re critical, tactless, unwanted, offensive, embarrassing, intrusive, or loaded, these types of questions are likely to stifle dialogue and can cause relationships to deteriorate.”

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