Asking clear and thoughtful questions is an essential skill that enables meaningful conversations, fosters better understanding, and incites growth. Here are some key steps to asking great and insightful questions:

1. Have a clear purpose: Before asking your questions, decide on what you want to accomplish. Is it to gather information, to understand a perspective, to make a decision, or to provoke thought?

2. Do your homework: In order to ask insightful questions, you must have a basic understanding of the subject at hand. Do your research and understand the context.

3. Make your questions open-ended: Open-ended questions can’t be answered with a ‘yes’ or ’no’. They encourage the respondent to share more information, feelings, attitudes and understanding of the subject.

4. Be respectful: Always consider the feelings and positions of the person you are asking. Ensure your questions aren’t offensive or loaded.

5. Listen actively: After asking your question, listen attentively to the response. This can encourage the speaker to share more and help you come up with follow-up questions.

6. Follow up: Don’t stop at just one question. Follow up based on the responses you receive, and dig deeper into the subject.

Remember, the cornerstone of asking great questions is curiosity and a genuine desire to understand. As innovative thinker Peter Drucker said, “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.”