Volunteer Training: Asking Good Questions


As you lead volunteers — and especially in meeting
times — use these types of questions from Meetings: Do’s, Don’ts
and Donuts by Sharon Lippincott…

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Jesus was the master at asking great questions. He could send a
zinger that would stop any discussion or ask a thoughtful question
that would open up people to greater faith.

  • Factual Questions — Use these questions for basic information
    gathering (what, where, when, why, who, how, and how much).
  • Exploratory — Broaden the discussion with questions such as
    “How would that help?” “How would you go about doing that?” or
    “What other things should be considered?”
  • Justification — To challenge old ideas and to generate new
    ones, ask in a nonconfrontational tone, “What makes you say that?”
    “Where did you hear that?” “Have you actually tried that?”
  • Leading — When you want to introduce a thought of your own,
    ask, “Would this be a possible solution?” or “Have you tried
  • Hypothetical — To test assumptions, ask, “What would happen if
    we did it this way?” or “If I do it this other way, will it still
  • Alternative — When you realize that it’s time for the group to
    make a decision or come to an agreement, ask, “Which of these plans
    do you think is best?” or “Would you rather get together on Monday
    or Tuesday?”
  • Consensual — To help develop common agreement or to take
    action, ask, “Do we all agree that this is what we want to do?” “Is
    there anything preventing us from getting started now?”

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