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Using questions well is the key to useful enquiry. If questions are creative and original in their construction, they can also spark creativity and originality in the responses they generate.

The art of using questions is a skill that must be developed, and because we are only rarely taught to use them skilfully we mostly muddle along with poor quality questions. Not only do these fail to generate useful responses, they can do the opposite of what is intended by tying us up in knots to sending us round in circles.

‘Useful responses’, by the way, does not necessarily equal ‘answers’; when it lands in the mind a good question goes on working long after it has been asked.

Well designed questions are at the heart of effective communications and they can also provide keys to mental wellbeing and personal growth. Bad questions keep people stuck where they are.

See also

The Art of the Question by Marilee Goldberg

I’ve also explained this in more detail in Solution Focused Therapy for the Helping Professions.

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