Well, is this question a good question in itself? I’ll let you answer it after reading what follows.
This came out of an exchange with a friend and colleague: Alexis from YisY.
A good question is one that serve the purpose of the person asking it, obviously. It would be a bit long to explain what our purpose is with Alexis (hint: we’ve developed a kind of workshop to help people grow using “soft” social technologies which we named “Laboratory of Social Technologies” and a provisional french only leaflet is available here), but here’s what I came to.
If you have complementary criteria, please contribute in the comments below!
So, good questions might be:
- questions that seek what is rather than what isn’t: they work from strengths (what you want, what you do that works, what you desire, etc.)
- questions that bring closer rather than move away: they help bring ideas or people close rather than move them apart
- questions that encourage collaborative rather than individual answers: they foster social constructionism or collective intelligence, if not wild emergence
- open rather than closed questions: they make people think something new/more profound rather than stay on the surface and elicit automatic response
- exploratory rather than justificatory questions: they invite “why if?” rather than “whose fault?”
- questions that stretch rather than contract: they help people grow rather than force them to stay at their place
- questions that encourage rather than threat: they help develop people rather than command them
What are your good questions?