Friday 1 December 2023

A Defining Question

Trisha Lord
It was one of those moments that just stopped me short and really made me think... The wonderful Trisha Lord, one of my supervisors for my next Thinking Environment qualification, said:

"Why do we ask questions?  We ask questions, not to get the answer, but to get the next thinking."

And that is a defining statement, when considering the Thinking Environment.

It is also a helpful thing to think about when we are teaching coaches, or participants in Action Learning Sets, for example: why are you asking that question? 

Very often it reveals a desire to generate a solution for the other person, which of course is not the job of a coach or an Action Learning Set colleague. And often, people don;t even realise that is what they are doing: but when they pause and reflect on the question they have just asked - typically for more information about the presenting problem - it becomes clear that that is what is going on.

If we keep in mind that our purpose in asking questions is to get the next wave of thinking going, then we will ask different, more non-directive, and more stimulating questions.

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