A blog about leadership: How half a question can ignite team conversations
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The time has come for half questions
‘The way we talk about our work,
creates our thoughts and actions at work. '
There is always room for dialogue. When you dig deeper into the 'theme' and into your colleagues, you develop your business and yourself.
You probably ask questions and are asked questions all day long: Are you feeling well? Have you slept comfortably? What time is it? Questions that can be answered with a YES or a NO or '5 minutes in 9'. But what about some questions with more content? How about some questions that make more sense and more learning? How about some questions involving the other person? How about some questions involving the interviewer? How about some questions that dig deeper? How about an infinite question? Let's play with one thing: What has the best ... you have met, taught you about ...?
The infinite effect
If you've ever seen Monty Python Flying Circus on TV, you've tried what infinity does to you. Only one or two sketches from Monty Python's TV shows have had punchlines. All the others have disturbed you, tickled you and inspired you. That's what infinity does to you. It invites you and it involves you. If Monty Python had built punchlines into every joke, sketch or sequence, then they would have looked like any other comedy show. Now you might be thinking: What happened to the dead parrot, the customer and the pet dealer? Hmm, your guess is as good as mine. Monty Python is not readymade and easily digestible. Monty Python provokes you to take a stand. It is demanding and it involves.
Situation and relationship
To invite and involve two parties in a question, you can try with a half question. Back to the infinite question from before: What has the best ... you have met, taught you about ...? Twice times 3 dots have been inserted into the question. This means that you, your colleague, the people in your network or your coach can choose to place the words that are relevant to the situation and to the relationship. When the question has been formulated, it may sound like this:
What has the best cashier you have met taught you about exceptional service?
As the infinite question is formulated, both participants become involved. A natural interest in the answer is created. The question could also sound like this:
What has the best doctor you have met taught you about ordinary human behavior?
When colleagues are aware of each other's situation, the question may sound like this:
What has the best teacher you have met taught you about teaching?
We have tested these endless questions in a wide range of meetings, workshops, courses and coaching sessions. We have seen participants become involved at a higher level. When we use the questions, we will always add a method. We always use the questions in a structured way and we tell the participants how to use them. And then the dialogue is underway and up and running. We have collected more than 30 structured methods.
We have designed 4 different generic editions: Infinite Quick Questions, Infinite Good Questions and Infinite Funny Questions plus Infinite Recognitions.
Written by Michael Meinhardt, LEADERS WAREHOUSE.
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