QUESTIONS ABOUT QUESTIONS


Tim Francis inquires: Something that I struggle with at this time is really asking questions that aren’t substantially leading. For example, asking a question like “What are the disadvantages of living in have-do-be?” implies that there are disadvantages to “have-do-be.”

Dr. David Wolf: Sometimes an effective, powerful question might contain language that could be perceived as “leading”. I regard that, with respect to transformational coaching and facilitation, as fine, assuming that we are in a spirit of discovery, rather than a mindset of “leading”, or a mood of attempting to manipulate. A gauge we can use is the extent to which our question creates empowerment, or disempowerment. So if I ask, for example, “What are the prices you pay for not being authentic,”- sure, my world and assumptions may certainly be evident in such a question. An element of effective coaching and facilitation, though, is that we know how to integrate our natural curiosity in the coaching and facilitation process. Healthily introducing our curiosity is of course different than being nosy for our own gratification. My curiosity is a natural part of the facilitation/coaching relationship, and thus I might inquire “What are the prices you pay…”, with a consciousness that is genuinely open to whatever response comes, without me needing to “lead” to a certain response in order that I get to be right. In that spirit of discovery I’m equally open to inquiring, as appropriate, something like “What might be the costs of living authentically, from be-do-have?” Sure, we tend to focus on advantages of living be-do-have, but let’s remember that it can also be very helpful for some people, ourselves included, to honestly explore costs- such as, for example, if I live authentically, from inspiration rather than for approval, I might lose some friends, or I might be ridiculed by some people who now apparently respect me, etc.

To summarize, it can be beneficial, with no contradiction to principles of high-level coaching/facilitation, for a question to reveal our assumptions, a key factor being our consciousness, specifically the extent to which our consciousness is immersed in wonder and discovery, as opposed to survival strategies such as maintaining the appearance of control and needing to be right.

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