Listening for the real question in class

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I really like the main point made in this blog post. It focuses on quality conversations; what to avoid and instead what to focus on.

The way it describes people asking questions as detail for themselves reminds me of how students/attendees often take a few moments to work out their question audibly whilst asking it.

How often has this been the case with you and by the end someone has actually answered their own question? I like it, people often say “thank you” and all I’ve done is listen! This is almost like a coaching skill, where really the person knows the answer and we are just helping them to get there.

The next part of the blog post urges us, after the person has verbalised their questions and details in the conversation, is to ask “what was the question again?” I also like this tip as it helps someone clarify their thoughts into a more summative statement or precise question.

Do you recognise this from your classes? Do you allow the time for someone to verbalise their question? Do you follow up for the real underlying question?

Sometimes the underlying question can be more about the individual than it is about the topic. I find questions about content are often wrapped up in “how can I do that?” or “I can’t do that” or another driving factor. These are the ones we need to get to in order to make a real impact on behaviour change and performance improvement.

I’m interested in your thoughts to contrast this, questions about it and stories to share, comment below.

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