Emery- Questions to Explore Problems.pdf

What else would you like to have happen the word else

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What else would you like to have happen? The word “else” is very useful when exploring problems. You can use it in many of these questions whenever you want to expand the range of ideas you’re talking about. Q UESTIONS ABOUT THE P ERCEIVED S TATE What makes that a problem for you? This question asks about the significance of the situation, about how the situation relates to the person’s goals and needs. What makes that a problem for you? As with The Value Question, this question is one you can ask several times in a row. But be careful: This question asks the person to explore the pain of the situation. Be sensitive to what the person is feeling, and don’t push this (or any other question). What makes that a problem for you? Ask this if you aren’t sure what makes the situation a problem. What makes that a problem for you ? Use this phrasing when the person states a problem that seems impersonal or indirect. Emphasizing you asks how the problem affects the person directly. Again, this is a very personal question. Ask gently, if at all. What do you want to make sure doesn’t change? In any problems, there are elements that the person wants to change, and elements the person wants to preserve. What have you not noticed about this problem? This question invites the person to assess how they are thinking about the problem, and the limits they had placed on their thinking up until now. It’s something of a trick question, so it often elicits only a puzzled look. But when it works, it can jiggle the person’s thinking loose in a powerful way. Q UESTIONS ABOUT THE D IFFERENCE What concerns you about this? Elicits concerns, expectations, values, and goals that may not have been mentioned before. How does the problem affect you personally? This question asks about personal concerns and goals, rather than e.g. organizational ones. What makes this problem important to you? This question asks about the deeper values and goals at stake. Questions to Explore Problems Dale Emery 2
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How do you feel about the problem? Strong emotions can help or hinder in finding solutions. It’s useful to at least acknowledge their presence, and possibly their effects. What leads you to feel that way? This question seeks information about the underlying needs, concerns, interpretations, and perceptions that give rise to the feelings. What other factors contribute to the problem? Elicits additional factors that may not have been mentioned. How hopeful are you that this can be resolved? Hope is information. Hopelessness is information. Q UESTIONS ABOUT THE P ROBLEM S TATEMENT Do you mean ______ ? (Fill in the blank with your best guess as to the intended meaning.) Ask this when you are not certain that you understand the meaning or significance of some new information. What did you see or hear that led you to that conclusion? Ask this question when the person is offering conclusions and abstractions. The question invites the person to recall the specific, sensory details.
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