Monday, July 21, 2008

Why, What, Where, When, How?

Last Thursday, we had an interesting session at Kern. It was called 'Tell me why?' and was conducted by Geeta. The main objective was to make us understand what kind of questions yield the desired results. Geeta, first, asked us to list the types of questions (interrogative, probing, inquiry, permission seeking, and so on). She, then, divided us into groups and gave us three situations: a learning situation, research situation, and a coaching situation. She gave us three goals and asked us to write down 5-10 questions that we would ask to reach these goals.

What was challenging about this activity was that these set of questions that come more easily or shall we say unconsciously when working on a live project, refused to enlighten us when we were consciously putting our mind to it. The session was very interesting as all groups got totally confused and struggled to come up with a set of questions. The discussion after this activity yielded more interesting insights.

This had me thinking... Whenever a project is assigned to me, during the project kickoff, we shoot a list of questions to ensure that we are fully armed with all the information we need to begin a project. These lists of questions are extremely important as they remove any element of doubt from our minds. Asking the right questions results good work. There are no rules, you can ask anything and everything to ensure that you are on the right track. No point thinking later that I was not informed regarding this. Information is not served in a platter. You need to dig it out. This is not because people who have the information do not want to share it. We tend to believe that we have stated things explicitly, but there may be certain things that we have taken for granted or labeled as common sense information.

Why, what, where, when, how are the most useful words that will help you perform better. Don't be shy, ASK!

3 comments:

Sindhu :) said...

So so true!

I have had situations too, where the basic & most common set of questions asked, do not actually give you any insight into what actually the final output would be like or more importantly, how you can actually reach the final output.

I sometimes feel - maybe I am asking too many questions, but later on realised that those 'too' many questions were the very same ones that finally gave me strong base to explain to others why something was done the it was done...

You are right .. Why, what, where, when, how are certainly the most useful words that will help you perform better

Sindhu :) said...

*something was done the 'way' it was done

Archana Narayan said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are absolutely right... There is nothing like too many questions when you trying to do things right. :)