What happens when you ask a question?
I love asking people questions.
For one thing, it usually gets them talking, so I don’t have to say as much. Plus, if it’s a good question, I get really interested in the answer. What’s more, whatever comes out is important information related to the work we’re doing together.
Problem is, how do I know I’ve asked the right questions? The questions that will give us all the clearest insight into what is going on and will yield the clues into what we should do next.
That’s the hard part.
There’s that whole thing that happens as an observer or intervenor. That what I am observing is affected by my observation. The questions I choose to ask have an impact on the answers I get. More bluntly, I only get answers to the questions I ask; nothing on the ones I don’t.
That seems obvious, but it’s not trivial.
The only way I know to combat this dilemma is to be consistently transparent in what I’m doing and why. To disclose the intent behind the questions and the method to my madness. Then, and only then, can my partners in crime (my clients) verify that we’re on a productive track and that we should keep going.
Or, that there is another story to be told, and new questions to be asked.