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Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime

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Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime

Secrets of Calculated Questioning From a Veteran Interrogator

Career Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn to ask the questions that garner the information you want and earn the rapport you seek.

Editorial Rating



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In this comprehensive exploration, seasoned professional interrogator James Pyle and co-author Maryann Karinch highlight the psychological nuances of asking questions and analyzing answers. Heeding their advice will strengthen the questions you ask in your professional, social and family sphere. The authors’ occasional repetitiveness and reliance on multiple categorical lists are perhaps excusable – given the key fundamentals they establish as they break down the information your questions elicit into granular categories for analysis. They even explore the subtle word choices you make when crafting questions. Their advice is useful any time – on dates, during job interviews, at parties, or whenever you need to ask questions and create or deepen rapport. getAbstract recommends their clear program to anyone seeking to develop good communication skills and to elicit more information from others.


Asking Questions the Right Way

Asking questions the right way can change your mind-set. People shy away from answering questions that seem invasive, but if you set your mind on discovery rather than interrogation, you can frame your questions to be respectful and to build rapport.

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, for example, established his reputation by asking people direct questions. This technique elicited knowledge from them that they didn’t realize they had.

A sound question yields both a factual response and psychological insight into the mind of the respondent. Ask questions that call for a narrative response rather than for a “yes” or “no.” Question starters, or “openers” – such as “Do you” and “Would you” – typically prompt a “yes” or “no,” so you should avoid them.

Using the correct interrogatives will help produce the answers you seek. The best interrogatives are the basics: “who, what, where, when and why.” Deviating from these classics may incline the person you’re asking to withhold information you want. Asking correctly phrased questions shows that you are unbiased and curious.

Usually, you should ask only one question ...

About the Authors

James Pyle worked for the Pentagon and the US Army as an intelligence-training instructor. Maryann Karinch has written or co-written many books on questions and lie detection.

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    A. C. 9 years ago
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    F. B. 9 years ago
    Vey poor... This is only a classification of types of questions. I don't feel more knowledgable after reading it. 10 wasted minutes.

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