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Thread: Where do you want your questions to go?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2003
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    Default Where do you want your questions to go?

    Presentation to Sydney Clean Practice Group, 15 Feb 2012
    Evening led by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley


    Everyone writes down their answer to: And what would you like to have happen?

    One answer is selected and the person writes it on a flipchart.
    (In this case it was: "I want a roadmap and direction to get from here to there.")
    Using the client’s statement on the flipchart, go round to each person and go through (A) - (D):

    (A) What is your intention? i.e. :
    Where would you like your question to go?
    What would you like it to do?
    Where would you like it to direct the client’s attention?
    (NB: These questions are all aiming at the same information)
    (B) Ask a Clean Question which achieves (A)

    (C) Client answers question

    (D) Ask facilitator: Did the client answer with the kind of information you expected when you set your intention at (A)?
    (The aim is not guess the client's answer but to decide whether the answer they gave came from the place/source intended.)
    If 'no', group suggest alternative questions that would likely achieve (A).

    If 'yes', continue to next person.
    Note: Each person must ask a different CLQ of a different part of statement written on the flipchart.

    When everyone has had a turn, throw it open to the group to come up with more places where the client’s attention could be directed – and what question(s) would achieve that.
    The group selected:
    - individual words
    - phrases or groups of words
    - relationships between words
    - events
    - the whole statement
    - outside the whole statement


    In groups of 3. Each person is 'client' and facilitator for 15 minutes (20 if time).
    Note: Facilitator and Observer can work together if facilitator needs help.

    After a few questions have been asked off the original statement, questions can be asked of later answers.
    - Facilitator asks AWWYLTHH?
    - Client answers
    - Facilitator considers their intention (to themselves), then asks a question
    - Client answers
    - Observer asks whether Facilitator got the kind of answer they were expecting
    If ‘No’ - ask another question of the same information that would more likely achieve the intention (Observer can help formulate it)
    If ‘Yes’ - carry on with the next intentional question.
    Whole group debriefs learning.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    I'm wondering about this, James: why would it matter whether or not the facilitator's intention with a question is honoured?

    Why bother to try again if the client comes up with something else?

    How clean would that be?

    If you need feedback on your effectiveness as a facilitator, why not ask the client?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Hi Corrie, it doesn't matter whether the facilitator's intention is honoured. It matters that the facilitator:

    a. knows their intention (as David's mentor Bill Rawlins used to say "when you ask a question you are always up to something" Do they they know what they are up to?);
    b. knows whether the client answered the question asked (not that the client has to of course, but if you don't know then you'll never wonder why not)
    c. knows how to devise a question that is likely to do what they want it to do.

    The reason for asking further questions is to find out which questions prompt the kind of response asked for, and which ones get other responses (from this client). This is closing the feedback loop from facilitator to client to facilitator.

    This activity is not designed to measure the effective of the question. It is about two things:

    1. Raising the awareness of the facilitator of their intention for their questions.
    2. Increasing the facilitator's ability to think about where they would like to invite the client's attention to go, before, they think of which question to ask top achieve that.

    I hope this clarifies the skills the activity was designed to develop.

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