° Powerful Questioning Skill

4. Powerful Questioning

Sometimes they are also called reflective questions, open questions, coaching questions etc. Powerful Questioning is a method on using questions that support the client to reflect and think more deeply about what for example the situation the problem occurs really is about. For example the question “How would your supervisor feel about this?” This forces the client to take in another perspective and role, which can change the current view of the problem and lead to ideas for solving it.

Some questions are more and some less powerful. In any way avoid the “why”. This is a powerful question, but it leads to force the client to back up and explain him or herself. This brings the client into a negative emotional state which leads to no creative solutions.

Powerful Questions
Fig. 5: Powerful Questions based on Voogt, Braun and Isaacs 2003, p. 4
Give it a try now!
Excercise I

Constructive-positive-powerfull vs. the negative-justificative

This excercise needs to be done in pairs. Maybe you can find a colleague who is interested in excercising his or her powerful questioning too (even if they did not attend this online course).

You have 2 minutes to have one of you to state a problem and why she/he thinks that happened, then the other person will ask negative-justificative questions like “why not?”, “how come you didn´t do it other way?”, “why were you so naive?”, finally let the other respond, when the other is done responding, continue with the negative-justificative questions.

After two minutes it is the oppsoite way around. The one who asked the questions before is responding to those negative-justificative questions now.

Afterwards reflect on how you both felt when you asked  those negative-justificative questions and were asked those negative-justificative questions. Make some notes for yourself.

Then its turn to the constructive-positive questions, repeat the above with the good questions (see powerful questions triangle above), you will have at the end the words of the feelings created by the negative questions vs. the powerful questions, which creates an emotional cognitive consolidation of the experience about the powerful questions.


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