TYPES of Questions (Part 1c)

5 simple Qs

is a way of respecting someone

PREVIOUS: Types of Qs (Part 1b)

SITE: “Mutual Inquiry: 8 Steps to Deepen & Shift Thinking”

QUOTE: “Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”  ― Shannon L. Alder

TYPES of Questions
– Subsidiary (Qs)
Qs that are phrased in such a way that sets up a person to answer the way the questioner wants – to agree with their point of view or pointing the listener in a certain direction. It’s not always done deliberately but is an easy trap to fall into.  EXP: “How much do you think this investment will grow?” indirectly implies it will grow, the issue is only how much. If the responder doesn’t catch the logic error, they’ll likely give a biased response.leading Qs

Qs that allow for much longer responses (than Closed ones), so are potentially more creative & informative, encouraging responders to be in control. They’re not ‘Why’ Qs, but rather ‘What or How’. They deal with unresolved issues not been finally determined, so ask the responder to reflect, give opinions & feelings. (“What are your personal strengths & weaknesses?”) (MORE…..)

Qs that group info into categories, forming logical structures. Finding patterns & relationships among & between collected fragments of info to create meaning & understanding. Whenever new valuable info surfaces, it can be added correctly to ta structure already in place. (“How can I make sense of all my confusing thoughts? // what categories do they fit into?”)

Qs in list form, for research or survey designed to gather specific info. They have 4 basic purposes: (1)  to collect the appropriate data (2) make data compare-able & suitable for analysis (3) minimize bias in formulating & asking other Qs (4) make Qs engaging & varied (“Please fill out this Questionnaire about your dining experience”)

Qs that require thinking about how to structure the search for info, where to look & what resources will be needed, such as time, location, people…. It’s standing back & looking at the big picture before starting out. It also includes looking ahead to identify possible obstacles & consequences (“ Who ha written the best boo on this subject? // What clothes will I need for this trip? // MORE….)

Qs that are meant to challenge, push or throw conventional wisdom off-balance. They give free rein to doubt, disbelief & skepticism, often used in satire, parody or as an expose. These Qs are not always welcomed. They’re like the court jester whispering unpleasant truths in the king’s ear. The fool could often get away with Qs never allowed a legitimate member of the council, but he might also lose his head if the monarch took offense. (“Where’s the beef? // What’s you point?”)

probing QsPROBING
Qs that look below the surface to the heart of the matter, every Q answered leading to another one. Continually searching for more insight, the best results come from a convergence of 3-4 relevant elements of a subject, to get something far more pointed and powerful (“What made you want to go to the Middle East”? // MORE….)

Best used when dealing with someone who is evasive, or when trying to understand a specific issue. They’re usually CLOSED, looking for clarity about what someone’s saying, or good for getting to the root cause of a problem – by drilling down fast. Probing the cause of a problem may require going down several layers. Asking “WHY” after each answer – 5x – can be very revealing. Most people don’t consciously know they have deeper & deeper ‘reasons’ until asked.

NEXT: TYPES of Qs #1d

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.