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Powerful Questions

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Agile 2011 Session: Powerful Questions by Carton Nettleton …

blurb off Agile 2011 site: “Picking the right question or reframing an issue can introduce a profound shift in the conversation. In this hands-on workshop, we will discuss how to create your own powerful questions and practice this skill. Leave with a practical tool you can use with your Teams today.”

Powerful Questions are:
  • Probing
  • Create options
  • For the listener NOT you
Why do we use powerful questions?
  • generate curioisty
  • surface underlying assumptions
  • invite creativity
  • generate energy & forward movement
  • touch deeper meanings
  • stimulate reflection and dialogue

“What has to change for….”

Not an interrogation – pause – create a space for reflection

TED Talk – Expansive vs Reductive Listening

Don’t try and solve the problem

Example Questions
How can we make this more fun?
Can you speak more to that?
What do you care about?
Can you try it for a week?
How does that make you feel?
How’s that working for you?
What do you need to know?
Can you explain that to me?
How can you do that better?
What does that cost you?
What skills can you use?
Why do you care?
What is another way?
What is it we’re not seeing?
What might be another perspective?
How might someone else see this?
How can you contribute more?
What’s holding you back?
What if…
How do you know?
I wonder…
Who cares about this?
I’m curious…
What is possible here?

What will I take away from this session?
I will keep some powerful questions in my notebook – ready to use – until they become more habit :)
Remembering not to solve the problem – this is a really tough one!

A summary mindmap by one of the attendees: