Not too long ago I wrote a piece on powerful questions with a good friend and colleague, Kathleen Masters. I’ve noticed that one of the most common questions I am asked as a consultant and facilitator is about asking powerful questions. People do everything from worry about it to ignore it. Panic in the flatness to exult in the viral engagement. Many want to sharpen their question-asking skills. Many are trying to simplify. Many are trying to encourage more honesty.
This article was written particularly for a faith community audience. But the relevance for improved questions matters pretty much everywhere. I carry a bias that says a big part of our job as humans, is to be curious with one another. To suspend an ever attractive and seductive certainty to explore and witness the territory of the subjective. It is work to do together.
Here’s the highlights Kathleen and I suggested — they came through many dialogues together. There is short description on each of these that follow.
Is the questions meaningful?
Does the question invite curiosity and reflective listening?
Does the question challenge assumptions?
Does the question lead to other questions?
Is the question simple?
Does the question lead to possibility?
Does the question welcome a quality of caring together?
Does the question look for more than yes or no as a response?
Is the question appropriately sequenced?
Kathleen and I also included a section on Tips. They are a few perspectives that help most of us have freedom in our questions.