The Art of Questioning
By Facilitrix Helen – Helen Wythe




      Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com   1

    After having completed this session,
               g       p
    participants will:
    ◦ Appreciate questioning as...
   Powerful questions, are the ones for which we
        don’t l d have answers are open
        d ’ already h
       inv...
   Key Facilitation Technique – Questioning

   Benefits Of Using Questions
    ◦   Modulate G
           d l    Group D...
   With Any Topic and Process Design
    ◦   Opening A Session
    ◦   Brainstorming Ideas
    ◦   Synthesizing Large Num...
   Clear and Concise
   Relevant T S bj
    R l      To Subject MMaterial and P i i
                               i l d...
   Recognizes Wide Possibilities Of Thought

   Builds Around Various Forms Of Thinking

   Sparks Interest In Seeking ...
   Creating Powerful Questions Thought
    Through And Prepared Prior To M i
    Th     hA dP        d P i T Meeting

  ...
   Closed Questions
    ◦ Begin With Do, Is, C
               h         Can, Could, Will, Would, Sh ll
                  ...
   Look At The Type Of Question. Is It A Closed
    Question? (Only One Possible Answer)

   Use Diff
    U Different La...
Who


Where                      What


        Topic
How                        Why


         When




          Helen J...
   Purpose of Gathering, Analyzing,
       p               g,     y g,
    Synthesising And Evaluating Information

   C...
   Follow – Up Questions Prompt For
    ◦   Clarification
    ◦   Perspectives
    ◦   Rationale
    ◦   Options
    ◦   ...
Little boy blue, come blow your horn
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn
Where is that boy who looks after th...
   Knowledge (Remembering): In this picture, what is the
    colour of the boy’s coat?
                    y
   Comprehe...
   Meeting Outcome

   Process Design Outcome

   Information Available

   Participants

   Time Available
         ...
   Aim/Outcome/Deliverable/Objective
    ◦   Information Gathering
    ◦   Reviewing, Analyzing and Interpreting Informat...
 What/Facts

        Gut           Reaction/Feelings
        So        What?/Implications
        Now             What...
Waking Up In the Morning
   “What”/ Facts     The alarm clock rings

   “Gut Reaction /
     Gut Reaction”    You groan ...
People walk in, take
                                          in
        OBJECTIVE             things in with their
     ...
   Getting To Know One Another

   Clarifying Expectations

   Building Commitment

   Developing Working Guidelines

...
   Think, Pair, Square and Share - Design
                                              Guidelines.
    Aim: The Team wi...
What?
                                                   The Notice Questions
                                            ...
   “What” ?
    ◦ R i awareness what they know and f l about
      Raise          h t th k        d feel b t
      someth...
1. Understanding the Situation - Objective

            2. Clarifying the Issues – Reflective/Interpretive


             ...
1. What words would you use to describe the issue
facing the Team associated with this Project?

   2.What recurring patte...
   Looking Backward                   Looking Forward
    ◦ Whole Experience
               p                        ◦  ...
Enabling Action Design
Aim: To clarify the impact of the meeting by providing an
opportunity for participants to debrief t...
   Prepare To Draw              Miss Allowing For
    Range of Responses            Individual Thought
    From Particip...

    After having completed this session,
               g       p
    participants will:
    ◦ Appreciate questioning as...
   The F ili i Way
    Th Facilitative W
    ◦ Priscilla H. Wilson
    ◦ 0-9729764-0-x

   Making Questions Work
    ◦ D...
The Art of Questioning




Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com   32
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A Facilitation Technique The Art Of Questionning Helen Wythe

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A broad overview of the facilitation technique -questionning. After having completed this session, participants will:
Appreciate questioning as a fundamental technique for eliciting, synthesizing, analyzing information and/or decision making.
Be familiar with the range of questioning techniques such as: Chunking, Funnel and Probing questions.
Understand how to effectively design a questioning process framework.

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A Facilitation Technique The Art Of Questionning Helen Wythe

  1. 1. The Art of Questioning By Facilitrix Helen – Helen Wythe Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 1
  2. 2.  After having completed this session, g p participants will: ◦ Appreciate questioning as a fundamental technique for eliciting, synthesizing, analyzing information eliciting synthesizing and/or decision making. ◦ Be familiar with the range of questioning techniques such as: Chunking, Funnel and Probing questions. ◦ Understand how to effectively design a q y g questioning g process framework. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 2
  3. 3.  Powerful questions, are the ones for which we don’t l d have answers are open d ’ already h invitations to creativity and innovation, calling forth ideas and insights that do not yet exist. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 3
  4. 4.  Key Facilitation Technique – Questioning  Benefits Of Using Questions ◦ Modulate G d l Group Dynamics ◦ Focus The Group ◦ Beyond Recall of Information ◦ Builds Knowledge - Makes Connections ◦ Directed Toward Learning - Evaluative Thinking ◦ Moves Group Forward ◦ Results In Creative, Critical And Innovative Thinking. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 4
  5. 5.  With Any Topic and Process Design ◦ Opening A Session ◦ Brainstorming Ideas ◦ Synthesizing Large Number Of Ideas ◦ Analyzing A Situation ◦ Identifying Solutions ◦ Making Decisions ◦ Reviewing, Planning, Interpreting ◦ Drawing A Cl i D i Closing O A Session On S i Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 5
  6. 6.  Clear and Concise  Relevant T S bj R l To Subject MMaterial and P i i i l d Participants  Inspire Participants To Think And Respond  The quality of the participants’ thinking, and subsequent responses will be influenced by responses, the questioning techniques used by the meeting facilitator. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 6
  7. 7.  Recognizes Wide Possibilities Of Thought  Builds Around Various Forms Of Thinking  Sparks Interest In Seeking Answers  Involves Critical And Creative Thinking  Provides Challenge But Not Too Overwhelming Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 7
  8. 8.  Creating Powerful Questions Thought Through And Prepared Prior To M i Th hA dP d P i T Meeting  Attention To Three Aspects ◦ The Construction ◦ Scope ◦ Assumptions. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 8
  9. 9.  Closed Questions ◦ Begin With Do, Is, C h Can, Could, Will, Would, Sh ll C ld ll ld Shall Or Should ◦ Only One Response y p ◦ Recall Information/Assess Prior Knowledge.  Open Ended Questions ◦ Begin With Who, What, When, Where, Or How ◦ Many Different Responses y p ◦ Responses Build On Group Knowledge ◦ Stimulate Group Discussion. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 9
  10. 10.  Look At The Type Of Question. Is It A Closed Question? (Only One Possible Answer)  Use Diff U Different Language To Change It Into An L T Ch I I A Open Question (With More Than One Answer). Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 10
  11. 11. Who Where What Topic How Why When Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 11
  12. 12.  Purpose of Gathering, Analyzing, p g, y g, Synthesising And Evaluating Information  Chunking Questions * Funnel Questions  Probing Questions * Focus Questions  Directing Questions * Clarifying Questions  Leading Questions * Process Questions  Prompting Questions * Follow-Up Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 12
  13. 13.  Follow – Up Questions Prompt For ◦ Clarification ◦ Perspectives ◦ Rationale ◦ Options ◦ Implications Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 13
  14. 14. Little boy blue, come blow your horn The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn Where is that boy who looks after the sheep? Under the haystack fast asleep Will you wake him? Oh no, not I For if I do he will surely cry Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 14
  15. 15.  Knowledge (Remembering): In this picture, what is the colour of the boy’s coat? y  Comprehension (Understanding): How would you describe the picture in your own words?  Application (S l i ) D you k A li ti (Solving): Do know someone lik Littl like Little Boy Blue?  Analysis (Reasoning): Why might he have fallen asleep?  Synthesis (Creating): How do you think he will explain to the farmer how the cow got into the corn?  Evaluation (Judging): Why do you think it matters if he falls asleep even if no one ever finds out? Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 15
  16. 16.  Meeting Outcome  Process Design Outcome  Information Available  Participants  Time Available l bl Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 16
  17. 17.  Aim/Outcome/Deliverable/Objective ◦ Information Gathering ◦ Reviewing, Analyzing and Interpreting Information ◦ Addressing Issues ◦ Evaluating and Planning ◦ Making A Decision ◦ Taking Action  Individual, Small Group – Large Group  Natural Thinking Process Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 17
  18. 18.  What/Facts  Gut Reaction/Feelings  So What?/Implications  Now What?/Decisions Adapted from ICA Associates Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 18
  19. 19. Waking Up In the Morning  “What”/ Facts The alarm clock rings  “Gut Reaction / Gut Reaction” You groan feel tired, groan, tired Feelings want more sleep  “So What / So What” You remember that Implications you have an early morning meeting  “Now What” / “N Wh ” You get up and get Y d Decisions ready for work Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 19
  20. 20. People walk in, take in OBJECTIVE things in with their senses. Begin to sense, like, don t like, don't like emotions & feelings stir, REFLECTIVE associations are made, memories rise to the surface Make conscious connections, thoughts arise, words, ideas form, INTERPRETIVE understanding, we think about what's going on Consider actions, decisions, choices, decisions choices DECISIONAL what to do, how to respond, how to relate Adapted from ICA Associates 20
  21. 21.  Getting To Know One Another  Clarifying Expectations  Building Commitment  Developing Working Guidelines  Decision Making Ground Rules Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 21
  22. 22.  Think, Pair, Square and Share - Design  Guidelines. Aim: The Team will create a set of Working Guidelines  What Working Guidelines does our Team require to create a productive working environment? – Focus Question  Individually – Jot down 2 3 key responses to this focus 2-3 question.  Pairs – Share your responses with one another person and merge your Working Guideline requirements.  Square – With another pair – Share your responses and merge your Working Guideline requirements.  Share - All groups share their responses. (Document on Flipchart) ◦ Where does there appear to be agreement on Working Guidelines? ◦ Where does there seem to be two ideas that are similar? How can we merge them to create another Working Guideline we can agree to? ◦ Read list of Working Guidelines Is this Working Guidelines that our Team needs to create a productive work environment? Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 22
  23. 23. What? The Notice Questions Objective And Actions Reflective Observations Now What? So What? The Application The Meaning Questions Q ti Questions Q ti Decisional Interpretive Reflections Adapted from Making Questions Work Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 23 Dorothy Strachan
  24. 24.  “What” ? ◦ R i awareness what they know and f l about Raise h t th k d feel b t something.  As we begin this planning session, what is in the front of your mind with respect to this Project? What have noticed is different about this Project? What is happening here?  “So What” ◦ Three Areas of Focus  What patterns do you see here?  How do you account for what is happening here?  What does all this mean?  “Now What” ◦ The Applications Questions (Actions) Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 24
  25. 25. 1. Understanding the Situation - Objective 2. Clarifying the Issues – Reflective/Interpretive 3. G 3 Generating Options - I t ti O ti Interpretive ti 4. Testing Options - Interpretive 5. Making a Decision – Decisional 6. Taking Action - Decisional Addressing Issues Adapted from Making Questions Work Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 25 Dorothy Strachan
  26. 26. 1. What words would you use to describe the issue facing the Team associated with this Project? 2.What recurring patterns do you see here? 3. What do we need to do to get unstuck and address this issue successfully? 4. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each of these options? 5. According to the criteria we agreed upon, which of these three options fits best? 6. What factors do we need to consider that could impact implementation? Addressing Issues Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 26
  27. 27.  Looking Backward  Looking Forward ◦ Whole Experience p ◦ Celebrating Success ◦ Learning ◦ Building Ownership ◦ Productivity ◦ Taking Action ◦ Managing the Process ◦ Future Collaboration Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 27
  28. 28. Enabling Action Design Aim: To clarify the impact of the meeting by providing an opportunity for participants to debrief the session teasing out the learning’s and insights. Let’s look back at our experience of this meeting. What words and or phrases do you remember? h d d h d b What is one thing that stood out for you during today’s meeting? What did we get done during this meeting? What were high points of the meeting? Where did we struggle? h dd l What was a turning point in the meeting? What new vantage point has this meeting given us? What’s the Team’s next step in implementing what we decided during this thi meeting? ti ? What are you going to focus on in relation to (Topic) as a result of participating in this meeting? This meeting has been a significant step in moving this project forward. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 28
  29. 29.  Prepare To Draw  Miss Allowing For Range of Responses Individual Thought From Participants Before Allowing  Use A Variety Of Responses Get Di G Discouraged If d Techniques  Your First Question  Provide Feedback Bombs – Rephrase p And Reinforcement A dR i f  Skimp on the  Spread Questions Questions - Plan for Around The Group. Group More Than You Need Do’s Don’ts Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 29
  30. 30.  After having completed this session, g p participants will: ◦ Appreciate questioning as a fundamental technique for eliciting, synthesizing, analyzing information eliciting synthesizing and/or decision making. ◦ Be familiar with the range of questioning techniques such as: Chunking, Funnel and Probing questions. ◦ Understand how to effectively design a q y g questioning g process framework. Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 30
  31. 31.  The F ili i Way Th Facilitative W ◦ Priscilla H. Wilson ◦ 0-9729764-0-x  Making Questions Work ◦ Dorothy Strachan ◦ 0-86571-416-9  The Art of Focused Conversations ◦ R. Brain Stanfield ◦ 0-7879-8727-1 Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 31
  32. 32. The Art of Questioning Helen J. Wythe & Associates 2009 www.hjwythe.com 32
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