Friday, August 22, 2008

Facilitation: 12 Principles of Process Facilitation - Principle 3: Questioning


This is Part 3 of the 12 Principles of Process Facilitation.

I stopped writing this series for a while and decided to complete the whole series within these 2 months. This series is an introduction to the 12 principles of facilitation taught in our Associate Facilitator Designation Program.

Our topic today is about Questioning. In facilitating any meeting or activity, questioning is the explicit part of facilitation. Facilitators use questions to generate ideas, getting opinion or gathering information.

The right questions are more than just the question itself. It is about asking the Right Question, at the Right Moment to the Right Person(s). The best question but asked at the wrong moment and to the wrong person can produce nothing.

What is the Right Question? It depends on what is really needed at that particular moment!

If information is needed, you ask questions for gathering facts, feelings or desires. If clarification is needed, you ask probing questions. If participants are too shy, you can consider some naive questions. When you are encountering some sensitive issues, indirect questions can be most appropriate. When something is wrong about the process of meeting, some meta-process questions might be helpful. If you need to draw participants' attention, rhetorical questions could be your choice.

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