TED Questioning


Being able to ask good quality open questions is an essential skill in all jobs - from a manager helping a staff member with a performance issue through to a customer services assistant diagnosing a customer service problem. (I wish somebody would tell radio interviewers this when they persist in posing closed or leading questions!)

Most people have heard of the 5 W's and the H way of asking open questions:

  • What 
  • Why 
  • When 
  • Who 
  • Where 
  • How


"The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions"



However there is another way using TED:

  • Tell
  • Explain
  • Describe


For example:

  • Tell me what happened
  • Tell us how you produced that report
  • Tell me about something that went well this year
  • Explain what the customer said when they phoned
  • Explain your idea for improving the system
  • Explain what you mean
  • Describe what you would like to see as a solution
  • Describe how you would solve the problem
  • Describe the customer's attitude when they came in this morning

One manager who attended our training said a week later that he had been 'tedding' all week!


Bryan Edwards



Bryan Edwards is the MD of ABC Training Solutions and an Institute of Personnel & Development (C.I.P.D.) qualified Trainer, with over 20 years training and personnel experience.

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