…dialog, discussion, tough matters, or coaching a person or team.
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Great questions induce great answers.
Various sources tell you about the basic techniques of conversations: listen, summarize, drill down (a.k.a. LSD).
- What do you ask about when drilling down?
- What is the direction of your questions?
- How do you come up with provocative, surprising, and challenging questions that seduce others to investigate the matter at hand?
The power to ask effective and interesting questions is essential for thorough investigative conversations. The question carousel researches:
- What makes questions interesting?
- How do you come up with the right question?
Besides sharpening your own questions, the following steps help you envision the characteristics of questions that matter.
- Everybody takes an empty sheet of paper.
- Write a question at the top of the paper…
- that you want to have answered;
- that you frequently run in to;
- that keeps you busy at this moment.
- Pass the sheet of paper to your left neighbor.
- Read the question at the top and find out which question it educes with you.
- Note your question at the bottom of the paper.
- Fold the bottom of the sheet backwards so that your added question is no longer visible.
- Repeat until you get your own question back.
- Read all questions collected on your sheet.
- Mark each question with a ‘+’ or ‘–’ based on your opinion on the question’s beauty, elegance, or goodness.
- Determine the question with the biggest ‘+’,
- Discuss in groups of 3–4 people wat the reasons are for giving questions a ‘+’.
- What makes a question beautiful, elegant, interesting and to the point?
- Jot down the characteristics.
- Collect all characteristics of effective questions and facilitate a dialog on the results.
- Reflect and retrospect: what is the value of this investigation?
A good starting question is:
- general, not purely individual;
- relevant, motivating, of interest;
- non-empirical: answerable by mere reflection;
- simply formulated;
- illustratable by a good example.
A powerful question:
- is simple and clear;
- focuses inquiry;
- challenges assumptions and presuppositions;
- opens new opportunities;
- generates more questions.
Powerful questions bundle attention, intention, and energy.
Cultivate the art of asking good and effective questions.
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