Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

Can you hear me huffing and puffing after my marathon of a day?  I am finally now sitting down to take a deep breath and write...whew!!  However, in the whirlwind of this day (and actually, week), I have been thinking about a quote that I wrote in my journal a little while back...and just came across it again the other day:

"Closed-ended questions are made to be answered with a "yes" or "no".  John Richardson Jr., a professor of information studies at UCLA, states that closed-ended questions "discourage disclosure".  Such questions "can include presuming, probing or leading questions...can be leading and hence irritating or even threatening to the user, can result in misleading assumptions/conclusions about the user's information need."

"Closed-ended questions don't cultivate dialogue.  The asker has already answered the question for themselves and is only seeking to figure out where the other person fits within their own preconceived metric - either for or against...And the yes or no responses to those inquiries quickly trigger a predetermined set of thoughts, beliefs and rebuttals already in place for a yes answer - as well as a different set of predetermined thoughts, beliefs and rebuttals already in place for a no answer."
-Andrew Marin

This challenged me to think about how often I ask closed-ended questions to others...just to see where they "fit in my metric".  When truly...I don't want to be treated that way.  I want others to hear my whole story and not just a "yes" or "no" to a certain question.

May we all learn to ask open-ended questions and listen for more than just "yes" or "no".

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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