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October 21, 2012

Asking the Right Questions

Big questions require context

What it is

Relevant questions suited to the context of the situation.

What is Context?

The meaning of a situation understood as part of its interrelated circumstances. Context tells us how to interpret and prioritize everything.

Why it's Important

Connection and influence are created out of the new conversations that arise from asking the right questions.

The Problem

If the wrong question is asked, answers are misleading.


Small mistakes with a question can result in huge misunderstandings that may not be discovered for a long time.    

The Tip

Establish context before asking the big questions with the 3 “Ds”

Three types of smaller questions can help you zero-in on the context of a situation before diving in.   

Duh Questions

Obvious and innocent questions intended to scrape off the first layer of a story.

·        Do you really want that?

·        Why do you do that?

Deeper Questions

Questions without expectation intended to separate facts from truth. 

Facts  are objective examples waiting for meaning to be assigned.

Truth  is the meaning your child has given to facts.

·        Is that accurate or your interpretation?

·        What else might that mean?

Doubting Questions

Questions intended to clarify YOUR understanding—to make sure YOU understand what’s going on. 

·        I hear what you’re saying and I don’t hear something I might expect to hear …

·        I hear what you’re saying, though something must not be getting through to me because I feel like I’m missing something.

 Some Dos and Don'ts


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