One of the best ways to help your team learn together is to ask them questions. But not just any question will do. As a restrospective facilitator, your questions should:
- Be open-ended
- Not lead towards a predefined answer
- Invite introspection
- Help foster new ways of thinking
- Be blameless
- Encourage discovery
That’s a tough list. Most questions we naturally ask do not fall into this category. The best ones do.
How do you know if you asked a good question?
The best proxy is watching for silence. If the group is initially silent after you ask your question, it likely means that your question was a good one. (Assuming, of course, that it’s not because your question was confusing or that the team is completely disengaged.)
What are some example Powerful Questions?
Here are some powerful questions that can help your team think and learn together:
Can you tell us more?
How did we accomplish that?
What excites you about that?
Can we make that possible?
What are we willing to do differently?
What is stopping us from doing that?
Could we make that more effective?
Could we do that better?
Could we do that differently?
What prevents us from doing that?
Are there other options?
What is challenging about that?
What still puzzles us about this?
There are many, many more possibilities. I recommend this 62 Powerful Question Card pack from Growing Agile. It’s free!