We do not start the dialogue discounting the other person….
I’ve written before about the importance of authentic questions and the power of epistemic curiosity. They inextricably connect to one another and lead to sustained cognitive effort to learn and expand our worldview.
Perhaps you’ve heard of rhetorical questions. Such inquiries do not seek an answer or conversation. More than likely the questioner wants to make a point rather than begin a dialogue. Or the so-called (inauthentic) question has been tossed so that the speaker can judge the audience in front of her. Questions like:
- You wouldn’t think of doing that, would you?
- Did you eat inside the restaurant? I’m sure you didn’t because you know that isn’t wise currently!
- You didn’t vote for that candidate, did you? I never would!
- So why is that your college major? Do you really want to do that with your life?
You can add others that you have heard—and that you have asked of someone else.
The eloquence of well-thought out and authentic questions is that they can lead to conscious-raising conversations. One with give-and-take. One that may bring about a change in mindset. One that helps us grow. Sure, we more than likely have an opinion entering the conversation. But we do not start the dialogue discounting the other person by offering a question that is really our staunch opinion that immediately throws the other person under the rhetorical bus.
You wouldn’t want to do that—would you?
Video recommendation for the week:
This video pokes a little fun at rhetorical questions. You may have seen a few on Geico commercials.
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
You will find my latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®