This book, ASK, INSPIRE, SOLVE is an invaluable resource for leaders, decision coaches, change agents, team facilitators, consultants, and anyone else seeking to ask questions that inspire insight and engage thinking. The book’s subtitle is, “The Science and Practice of Facillitative Questioning.”
Lawyers, journalists, and doctors are taught how to ask questions but not executives, consultants, and managers. Yet most of our professional lives are spent asking questions. The right questions are a powerful tool for unlocking value in organizations. Good questions and skillful questioning can spur learning and the exchange of ideas. I can not imagine framing a problem or situation without asking a lot of questions.
Questions, when asked skillfully, can build trust and get people engaged. Questions can reduce risk by uncovering unforeseen pitfalls and hazards. The wrong questions at the wrong time can kill trust and put people on the defensive.
The author, Katherine Rosbeck has successfully facilitated profit and non-profit groups for over two decades. She is a collector of questions and questioning techniques. Katherine’s background in engineering led her to realize that there is a science behind which questions to ask, when to ask them, and, importantly, how to ask them. She has summarized what she learned in this easy to read book.
Here is an excerpt from the book that turned on some lights for me,
“A facilitator can be armed with an extensive set of tools yet fail to leverage the strength of those tools because they fail to ask the corresponding facilitative question. Without such questions the tool comes off more like a template to be completed, with few insights generated. Indeed, I have come to see tools as little more than a framework for asking questions in a certain order and of a certain type. It’s amazing how many facilitators struggle when asked, “What is the question that you hope to answer with your tool?” They need to know that answer! Tools are always in service to the facilitative question being asked.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be better at getting information from people, inspiring people, and solving problems. The book will make you think. You will go back to it again and again.
The book is available in paper on Amazon,