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Episode 070

July 22, 2020

070: The Art of Asking Questions with Elke Wiss

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    Questions are the lifeblood of communication. Without questions, we only have statements – cold, certain, absolute. If there is no room for curiosity, there is no room for growth or change.

    But not all questions are created equal and, sometimes, a question can do more harm than good.

    This week, Elke Wiss – trainer, speaker, facilitator, author of Socrates in Sneakers, and self-styled ‘Thinking Doctor’– joins me on workshops work to explore how we can ask better questions. We cover so much, from Socratic Philosophy and psychological safety to lattes vs. cappuccinos.

    Find out about

    • What separates good and bad questions
    • Why “why” questions can be simultaneously revelatory and destructive
    • Whether we can train our curiosity to be childlike again
    • How to create spaces in which you can ask questions that might usually feel unsafe
    • How we can all start asking better questions
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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.
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    Questions and Answers

    01:25 Do you call yourself a facilitator?

    02:03 Where did your fascination with questions come from?

    06:46 Do you have a set of questions to inspire your creative process?

    11:30 What makes a good question?

    13:00 Can one learn to be curious?

    17:00 What is it about “why” questions that makes them feel so sharp?

    20:25 How do you create a space that feels safe for asking questions?

    25:48 What makes us shift away from the curiosity of childhood?

    30:56 What makes a workshop fail?

    32:02 How can we invite groups to ask questions?

    33:27 What is your favourite question?

    34:48 What would be your hashtag?

    37:19 How can we end the process of questioning?

    38:48 Is it more dangerous to ask the wrong question, or to take the first answer you receive?

    40:58 What makes a bad question?

    46:57 Is there anything else you wanted to highlight?



    Brené Brown’s TED talk

    Elke’s Book – Socrates in Sneakers (with an English preview of the book to download!)