It All Starts with a Question, a Powerful One
We are social animals. We like to have conversations. We like to know more about each other's stories. It is in our nature. As coaches, and change agents it is very important to use this basic instinct to our advantage. The easiest way to influence people, coach them, mentor them, transform them, build relationship with is to have a conversation. I can't even imagine any of the above not to start with a conversation.
Conversations are two way streets. And the easiest way to have a two way communication is to ask questions. Questions can be dumb, unrelated, out of ordinary, crazy, or even beautiful. The main differentiating factor of good communicators is their ability to ask powerful questions. Powerful questions are the ones that generate curiosity in the listener, and stimulates reflective conversation. They are usually thought provoking, and challenges the underlying assumptions. Powerful questions if asked in the right tone, and body language, generates creativity and new possibilities.
You might think it's hard to ask Powerful questions. You are absolutely right. It is not that easy, and certainly not natural for everyone. The good news is that it is something that can be learned, and relatively very easily.
I invite you to join me for a workshop on asking Powerful questions. In this workshop, I am going to help you build the muscle to ask more powerful questions. I will give you easy tool that each time you want to ask a question, make it more powerful. This technique will provide you with an easy tool that can be applied in any conversation. Asking powerful questions will help you build bridges with people, you would become more empathetic with them, and do not be surprised you are going to listen more. Some of the characteristics of a great coach, one might say.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
Session - Scenario 1 - Demonstrating different Question techniques - 20 minutes
There will be scenario simulations. In these scenarios I am going to ask a volunteer from the audience to have a conversation with. In the first round of conversation, I am going to show the importance of body language. The second roound would be about the tone of the question that is being asked. The third roound would be about the same scenario but asking different question. One is a question that starts with Why and is personal. And the other one is a question that starts with What and is going deep. Then I ask him/her to pick which one he/she preffered.
Then I would ask the whole audience to pick one of the questions. By standing to the side of the room that the question is being presented.
Then I am going to talk about the one that most picked is an example of a powerful question.
Section 2 - Powerful Question - 30 minutes
Then I am going to ask the audience to go through an exercise defined by Deborah http://deborahpreuss.com/resources/DeborahPreuss_PowerfulQuestions_exercise_kit.pdf
It has two rounds, one is silent priority ordering and the next round is as a team. Then I do a debrief.
Section 3 - Powerful Questions and its Pyramid - 20 minutes
For 10 minutes, I am going to talk about the Question and its power, its different dimensions (scope, construction and assumptions) and how one can transform a question into a powerful one. Also, will be going to talk about the using of it, and when to use it.
Section 4 - Practice what they learned. - 15 minutes
In triads, I will ask them to identify themselves as question Asker and story teller. The story teller is responsible to telling a story. I am going to introduce them with them pause and rewind coaching technique. The question Askers are going to ask questions. And whenever they have a question to ask, they will pause. Show the question to the other question Asker, and try to make it more powerful. And ask the more powerful question.
Final Debrief - 5 minutes
In the final debrief, I am going to summarize what they learned. And how they were able to practice asking powerful questions. Any last minute question will be answered as well.
In this session you would learn
• How to avoid very bad Questions
• What defines a powerful question
• The three dimension of a powerful question (Construction, Scope and Assumptions)
• how to become self-aware of yourself not asking a powerful question
A practical technique to practice powerful questions (pause and
Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, People Managers, Leaders
Prerequisites for Attendees