Sunday, 12 July 2015

Questions are powerful. Learn to use them workshop - 22nd October

At agile tour London I'll be giving a 1 day workshop focused around questions.

Here's the abstract:

Questions are a powerful tool, and good questioning skills are extremely important for both people in teams. Through effective use, we can
  • Save ourselves time and effort.
  • Encourage participation and teamwork.
  • Create outside-the-box thinking.
  • Engage in more effective learning.
  • Start decision making conversations.
  • Improve our inquiry skills.
During this practical interactive session we will explore the power of questions and their ability to make us and others think by looking at items such as:
  • Listening to set the questions.
  • Use of probing questions.
  • Open and closed questions.
  • Constructive conversations
  • Tone.
  • Rephrasing..
We will do this with exercises and evaluating as we go.
Questions can help create and negate, learn and teach, and stop and start projects, connections and relationships. Participants will walk away with ideas on how to sharpen their questioning skills to a fine tool which can be used to transform their every conversation and to increase their testing thinking.
I use open questions daily to gather more information, open questions give people no other choice but to churn things over in their head before they respond.
I also use open questions when I pair (with developers) as it helps them defocus for a minute while they answer me and helps them realise what is going wrong as their sub-conscious churns away. I have tone questions used on me, tone can have a huge impact, a one word question and change of tone can change anything. For example, the question with the right tone for 'Really?'. My wife uses it daily to devastating effect, I immediately stop whatever I'm doing.
Questions are used to help my preparation. I question myself with:
  • What is my awareness?
  • What is my intent?
  • What is my motion?
I have to step outside my interpretation with questions so as to not get trapped by asking myself things like 'What happened to make me interpret it this way?

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