QUOTE: “Usually it’s the things you don’t know or don’t want to know that cause you the most trouble.”
TYPES of Questions – Subsidiary (Qs)
Qs designed to make sense of confusing or complex info. They can define words & concepts, examine the logic & continuity of a topic, & determine is an underlying assumption is valid. (“What did you mean when you said you were tired of trying?” // More….)
Qs specifically to gain for permission, or help:
• “Would you lend me $20?” // “Can I have that last piece?” // “May I leave the room?”
• “Can I take my holiday from 12/12 to 1/12?”
• “How do I find a cab?” // “Where do I go?”
Qs that don’t require an answer, & can be in various forms. It’s often
used by public speakers to get the audience to think. (“Who doesn’t hope to stay healthy in their old age?”) or a comedian engaging with the audience (“… or is it just me?”
CIt can be used to make a point, show off the questioner’s knowledge, or corner someone in an argument. The questioner is not looking for an answer, since they already knows it, but have an alternative motive.(“What time do you call this?” // “Why are you so stupid?” // “Are you kidding me?)
They can be in the form of the Disguised Imperative – a Q highlighting a demand, & usually requires an action rather than an answer. (“Do we wear our muddy shoes in this house?” / “Are you really going to wear that tie?”)
SORTING / SIFTING
Qs that allow us to manage the large & sometimes confusing amount of info available, culling & keeping only what’s pertinent & useful. Relevancy is the main criterion that determines what’s saved & what’s ignored (“How much of what you told me actually happened / really important?”)
Qs that focus on ways to Make Meaning. They are raised during the actual hunting, gathering, inferring & synthesizing of info when researching a subject. Along with Planning Qs, the researcher must use a variety of tools & strategy while working in unfamiliar territory (“What do I do next? What thinking tool is most apt to help me with this problem?”)
Qs that are built with such precision that they provide sorting & sifting during the gathering or discovery process. They help to gather only the very specific evidence required, focused only on those facts which throw light on the main issue at hand (“ Based on crime rates, property tax rates, employment possibilities & housing conditions, which of the 3 cities X.Y.Z. would you choose to live in?”)
Qs that serve like boundary stones, helping to tell us when we have pushed insight to its outer limits. When exploring Essential Qs (most of which are ultimately unanswerable) we may have to settle for just “shining a light” on them. The Truth may never be found, but may extend the level of understanding & reduce the intensity of the darkness (“What is God? // How soon can I let go of my pain / will I get well…. ?”)
Combine OPEN Q with SILENCE
Knowing when to be quiet, when to let the other person pause & then continue.
It give the potential responder a chance to reflect, & then offer any additional thoughts that may surface. It’s particularly useful when wanting to encourage deep meaningful communication from someone.
However, to get the most out of a conversation it’s important to reassure the person that your silence is not a pressure to ‘perform’ or to have the ‘right’ answer.