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How to avoid “Why” questions while Speaking

As you are interviewing your patient, avoiding “why” questions may
prevent the patient from feeling as though he needs to defend his choices
and actions. Although it may be necessary to learn the reasoning behind
the patient’s choices and actions, the wording that you use may impact the
response.

In other words, beginning a question with the word “why” will sometimes
be taken by the interlocutor to imply judgment.

Instead, try asking questions that begin with “how”, “what” or similar words.

These questions tend to be safer for the interlocutor to answer.

Incorrect Correct
“Why do you miss your doses?” “What causes you to miss your doses?”
“Why are you choosing not to breastfeed your baby?” “What are some reasons for choosing to formula feed your baby?”
“Why don’t you offer your children vegetables?” “If you did offer vegetables, which ones do you think they would
like?”

Check your score!

  • Question of

    Why would you think of over the counter medication?

    • How did you end up taking over the counter medication?
    • What is one of the reasons for your preferring over the counter medication?
    • It is surprising that you resorted to over the counter medication.
  • Question of

    Why did you discontinue consulting your GP?

    • What made you think of discontinuing consulting your GP?
    • What was the reason for your discontinue consultation with your GP?
    • What made you think of discontinuing consultation with your GP?

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Written by Biju John

Love for English begins with understanding its unknown rules. Biju John lives on the internet, teaching OET, IELTS and PTE. More than a million students have thanked him from their heart.

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