Power of questions

After attending recent agile training and conferences, I was reminded of the power of asking questions and especially well worded ones.

In business situations, starting with WHY can be received as being critical and produce a defensive response. However, if using WHAT and HOW then you can probe more innocently.  Here are some examples:

  • Is there value in making it more visible?
  • How long is it taking?
  • Where is it in the lifecycle?
  • Are you satisfied with outcome of delivery?
  • How would the team answer these same questions?
  • What do we do when blocked?

I have also been testing this out on my kids where I practice creativity in the question. In those situations, the WHY questions are often the best ones to ask so you can dig deeper to understand inside kids’ heads. I am often amazed at either the answers they genuinely have or creativity in what they believe.  Here is an article I noticed recently about how to ask kids about their seemingly routine day at school: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/liz-evans/25-ways-to-ask-your-kids-so-how-was-school-today-without-asking-them-so-how-was-school-today_b_5738338.html

So, prep sufficiently with your questions and have them work for you when doing the all-important, interaction with others.


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