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Ask the Right Questions to Help You Make the Best Decisions

Updated on July 15, 2018
Dreamworker profile image

Dreamworker has a lifetime of business, career and financial experience she shares with her readers here.

Many people find that making the types of decisions that work best for them can be very difficult.

While it's good to hear about the experiences of other people, there is nothing that can replace learning how to do the kind of research that will lead you to choices that will provide the best types of results in your own situation.

For example, these days many people are flocking to dentists to get full mouth dental implants. For some, this procedure works well, but for others it can turn into a nightmare.

  • This is because of issues such as
  • not having enough bone structure to support this type of appliance,
  • not being unable to afford the product and
  • similar types of issues.

If you learn how to ask the right questions, however, you can avoid having these types of problems.

The trick is to learn the key to asking. So, in the above example, questions people should be asking are those such as

  1. How much is this procedure going to cost?
  2. Where did the dentist go to college?
  3. How did he rank in his graduating class?
  4. How many of these procedures has he done?
  5. How long has he been doing them?
  6. What has been his success rate when doing them?
  7. Will he contact former patients and ask them to contact you to share their experiences with him?

and those of similar ilk.

If you look at the first word in each question you will see how, where, what and will.These are called question words. If you learn to use them and others such as who, when and where, they will lead you to the types of decisions that can save you many problems and a good deal of money.

They will also help you to look into the future so that you can consider the long term consequences of any choices you decide to make.

Advice that will help people to determine whether something they want to have or do will be a good choice for them.
Advice that will help people to determine whether something they want to have or do will be a good choice for them. | Source

Use Questions to Forecast the Future

When an experienced surfer finds himself caught in the throws of a giant wave, he knows that the best way to overcome his situation is to “look to the outside”. This means that to pay attention to what is currently happening, but also to look ahead so that you can see what’s coming in order to find a way to better deal with your situation.

Another word for this is forecasting. By looking at all angles of any given situation, you give yourself the opportunity to think about how your decisions might affect you in the future.

People who don't do this often find that they have made costly or life changing mistakes that can have truly negative impacts on their lives.

While nobody has the ability to look into the future, anybody who learns a few tricks can usually figure out whether an opportunity that presents itself to them is one they should try to take advantage of or not.

The best way to do this is to look at the positive, negative and long term possibilities of any situation.

For example, many people are into buying large, expensive motor homes.

For many these vehicles represent a means of temporarily escaping the harsh realities of day to day living. Some view them as a way of eliminating the expenses and worries of home ownership. Others dream of using them for having wonderful, long term and less costly vacations.

These are the issues sales people use to convince them to buy, but nobody should make such a decision without considering what might happen if

  • they lose their job,
  • they get sick,
  • their spouse passes away,
  • the coach ages and becomes difficult to sell if necessary and
  • similar issues.

Any one of these circumstances can lead to serious financial problems for those who don't make sure they can afford the vehicles they want to purchase.

Furthermore, they should find out about the hidden costs, such as repair and maintenance costs, storage, tire replacement, travel costs and similar issues.

It won't do them much good to buy a motor home if they cannot afford to live or travel in it!

  • Those who take the time to ask the right questions rarely have these problems.
  • Those who don't do this often face potential and serious problems.

Questions People Should Think About

The best thing an individual can do is to ask as many of the right questions as possible.

For example, let’s say you want to buy an expensive sports car. Clearly, if you could get it for nothing, you would jump at the chance to own it, but since you’re going to have to make a long term commitment to pay for it, you should ask these questions:

  • What is the asking price?
  • How much sales tax and other additional costs will I have to pay to buy it.
  • How much will insurance be?
  • What is the final sales contract cost including all add-ons?
  • Do I have a safe place to store it?
  • How much will I actually drive it?
  • What will happen to it if I decide to get married or have a family?
  • Will it need more expensive gasoline?

What is important to understand is that there are always side issues that need to be considered in any opportunity that can actually change the logistics of a deal.

For example, you might not be able to afford the asking price, but if you are able to negotiate a much more affordable price, your ability to own and maintain this car might make it a worthwhile deal for you.

Good questions create successful situations for people.
Good questions create successful situations for people. | Source

Use Question Words Often

Many people have trouble thinking of the right questions to ask, but if you learn to use question words regularly, this becomes easy to do.

The more of them you use, the more information you’ll be able to obtain and the more able you will be to make good decisions.

You can see examples of these words throughout this article that will show you what I mean with these statements.

The main thing to remember is that no matter how good a situation seems, there are always two sides to it. What you should want to do with your questions is learn both the pros and cons so that your view is clear.

A True Life Example

In our younger years, my husband and I were teachers. We had heard that jobs in Alaska were plentiful and paid much better than jobs in Florida, which is where we were living.

It seemed like it would make good sense for us to obtain teaching positions there so that we could build up a nest egg more quickly. We also thought that moving to Alaska would be a great adventure.

We began to research using the question words as our guides. Here is what we discovered:

Jobs there did pay considerably more than those where we were currently living, however to get them we would have to be willing to live in primitive conditions in the back woods.

There were no roads leading into those areas, so supplies would have to be flown in. Furthermore, anytime we needed medical care, we’d have to fly into one of the big cities to get it!

The cost of these flights would be significant, as would the cost of food, clothing, medicines and the like.

Furthermore, we would spend most of our time living alone without television, cell phone or internet services. In fact, there would be zero entertainment unless we wanted to take a ride on a snowmobile, hunt or fish.

When we added up the costs and inconveniences, we discovered that we could have a net income that would be as good as or better than that in Alaska, would not have to be isolated or worry about getting help if necessary and would not have to give up any of our normal luxuries.

So, what seemed like it would be a great opportunity and adventure turned out to be something that would have made us miserable and given us less money than if we had just stayed home!

Choose What's Best for You

People rarely fail to consider that what may be a good deal for someone else may not be one for them.

For example,

  1. A good mechanic can buy a car that has problems, fix it up for very little money and have a good vehicle to use.
  2. Another person can buy the same car because he thinks it’s a good deal only to find that it’s going to cost him a small fortune to have someone else repair it for him because he doesn’t know how to do the work himself.

Whether it’s a job, a product or a relationship, you should always look at it in terms of your own situation. If it isn’t something that will work well for you, it won’t be a good deal, no matter how pretty, how low the price or how attractive it may seem.

Do you think these tips will help you to make better decisions?

See results

© 2018 Sondra Rochelle


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