The art of asking questions

This blog has been updating you in the last two years about the most recent participatory learning methodologies that you can use in a learning context. One question always remained a little bit in the background, and that’s the old simple technique of asking a powerful question. Something you need almost always in the application of every facilitation technique whether it’s a  panel expert discussion or a  world café. To answer on what is the art and the architecture of a powerful question we have collected a series of interesting short publications on the topic? Do you have any other interesting resources to add?

Asking effective questions. (The Asian Development Bank)
The art of asking powerful questions. (From the World Café Methodology)
Different question techniques (Changing minds)



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  1. 10th October 2011 at 10:53 am — Reply

    At one point in time I was lucky to be given a documents called the “Huge Bank of What Questions” – here are some of those questions. many of these I find help to extend the conversation in a variety of directions. The point here is that to use these with meaning is to know what, where and why you may like to direct your client. I would be most interested if any of you use these or have used these and to what was the result of this.

    Here are the questions….

    • What do you want?
    • What do you really, really want?
    • What are you afraid of?
    • What is this costing you?
    • What are you attached to?
    • What is your dream?
    • What is ahead?
    • What are you building toward?
    • What has to happen for you to feel successful?
    • What gift are you not being responsible for?
    • What are your healthy sources of energy?
    • What’s stopping you?
    • What would make the biggest difference?
    • What do you like to do?
    • What do you hope to accomplish by doing that?
    • What’s the first step?
    • What would it be like to experience the excitement and the fear at the same time?
    • What’s important about that?
    • What would it take for you to treat them like your best friend?
    • What benefit/payoff is there in the present situation?
    • What do you expect to happen?
    • What’s the ideal outcome?
    • What would it look like?
    • What’s the right action?
    • What are you going to do?
    • What’s working for you?
    • What would you do differently?
    • What decision would you make from a position of strength?
    • What other choices do you have?
    • What if there were no limits?
    • What haven’t I asked that I should ask?
    • What needs to be said that has not been said?
    • What are you not saying?
    • What is left to do to have this be complete?
    • What do you have invested in continuing to do it this way?
    • What comes first?
    • What consequence are you avoiding?
    • What is the value you received from this meeting / conversation?
    • What is motivating you?
    • What has you hooked?
    • What is missing here?
    • What does that remind you of?
    • What do you suggest?
    • What is underneath that?
    • What is this person contributing to the quality of your life?
    • What is it that you are denying yourself right now?
    • What do you need to put in place to accomplish this?
    • What is the simplest solution here?
    • What would help you know I support this/you completely?
    • What happened?
    • What are you avoiding?
    • What is the worst that could happen?
    • What are you committed to?
    • What is your vision for yourself and the people around you?
    • What don’t you want?
    • What is the answer if you knew?
    • What’s your heart telling you?
    • What are you willing to give up?
    • What might you have done differently?
    • What are you not facing?
    • What does this feeling remind you of?
    • What is the pain in doing that?
    • What is the pleasure associated with that?
    • What would you do differently if you tapped into your own wisdom?
    • What does your soul say?

    It would be good to share any experiences using this.


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