The guessing game
This simple activity is a fun way to introduce and show the difference between closed and open questions
Split your class into two equal groups/teams
One person from each team will leave the room for a minute and think of a business object (any common business object that can be found in any office like a stapler, printer, ..etc.)
When each person returns to his team, it’s the team’s task to ask him/her closed ended questions only to try and find out what the object is. If needed, explain that closed ended questions are those that can be answered by yes or no
Once any team finds the object, this means that they won this round. And they can go for another round.
After two or three rounds, end the game and make the following point:
Discussion and debrief
Tell the group that obviously it took a long time and effort for us to find out the object in each round, but what if we had not time and only had one question to ask to find out the object, what would that question be?
The question would be “What is the object?” which is an open ended question.
Open ended questions are an excellent way to save time and energy and helps you get to the information you need fast, however closed questions can also be very useful in some instances to confirm your understanding or to help you control the conversation with an overly talkative person/customer.