Larry King, who has made his living speaking to people as a television talk show host, believes that asking questions is the secret of good conversation. He says,

I’m curious about everything, and if I’m at a cocktail party, I often ask my favorite question: “Why?” If a man tells me he and his family are moving to another city: “Why?” A woman is changing jobs: “Why?” Someone roots for the Mets: “Why?”

On my television show, I probably use this word more than any other. It’s the greatest question ever asked, and it always will be. And it is certainly the surest way of keeping a conversation lively and interesting.

Whenever I am preparing for a meeting with someone, I spend time determining what questions I want to ask. I do this because I want to make the most of the time I have, but I also do it to engage with the other person. I want people to know that I value them, and that, if possible, I want to add value to them. To do that, I believe I must get to know them. That requires that I ask questions, they talk, and I listen. And if I hope to receive value from people, again I need to ask questions and listen. You can’t do these things unless you get to know people.

I encourage the use of questions to engage others and to learn from them. I believe you will find it one of the most rewarding practices you ever develop.

John C. Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership (New York City, NY: Center Street, 2014).

I believe asking questions is one of the best ways to teach. Toward this end, I have devoted a good part of my life to writing discussion-based Bible study lessons that have groups talking. Check them out at