I was talking with a client recently who finds it difficult to perform well in assessment centre group discussions. Other people say more and whilst he makes a good contribution on process, with helpful comments on time keeping and being a positive team member that’s not enough for the role he seeks.

We’ve talked about speaking up more. We can talk about it but what will help a lot is making this part of his regular routine, to practice. I’ve encouraged him to get into situations where he can speak up and discuss with others, both as part of a social activity and also getting involved with a charity or local interest group.
What about you? What area would you like to develop, and what baby steps can you take?
Sometimes my client wasn’t sure of what to say. So I reminded him of the 5Ws and an H which comes from Rudyard Kipling’s poem.

5 W’s and 1 H

Do you sometimes wonder what questions to ask? Often when we need to review information, or to write a report it helps if we can use the
Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How questions.
It’s a simple technique to make sure that something is covered in depth. Here’s a few possible questions, and of course there are many more. Just start a question with these terms and see what comes easiest to you.

  • Who does it?
  • Who should be doing it?
  • Who else could do it?


  • What is being done?
  • What should be done?
  • What else could be done?


  • Where is it done?
  • Where should it be done?
  • Where else could it be done?


  • When is it done?
  • When should it be done?
  • When else could it be done?


  • Why is it done?
  • Why do it there?
  • Why do it that way?


  • How is it done?
  • How should it be done?
  • How could we improve?

Brought to you by Denise Taylor, career coach and chartered psychologist with Amazing People. Denise is regularly featured as an expert in the press and is the author of 7 books including ‘How To Get A Job In A Recession’ 

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Published On: June 19th, 2015 / Categories: Career Management, Personal Development /

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