The Power of Questions: Inquiry with Impact


So often, questions are asked to confirm an assumption, to challenge, or to convince. But what would happen if we asked questions to truly learn about one another, particularly those with whom we disagree? Questions and the way they are asked have the potential to transform your interactions, informing how you approach, view, and engage people, particularly those with whom you deeply disagree. In this workshop, you'll harness the power of questions to invite understanding and connections between the asked and the asker.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the effects of strong emotion on communication.
  • Discover the ways that genuine curiosity can expand awareness, thinking, hearing and speaking.
  • Practice crafting and asking questions in order to learn (rather than to lead), establish understanding, and transform conflicts and relationships.
  • Explore the difference between the intention of a question and its actual impact.
  • Learn to employ different kinds of questions in different contexts, addressing a person's or group’s purpose more effectively through questions.


As a result of this workshop, you will be equipped to:

  • More effectively avoid questions that close down a conversation during difficult conversations.
  • Craft questions of curiosity in a way that elicit fresh, productive responses, particularly in stuck or divided conversations.
  • Exercise greater internal awareness about the effects of questions on your perceptions, emotions, and relationships.
  • Apply fresh ways to help people relate to themselves and others, surfacing possibilities unimagined by people stuck in disagreement.

Who might participate:

  • Mediators or alternative dispute resolution professionals seeking to integrate purpose and mutual understanding more intentionally into incorporate into their methods.
  • Facilitators wanting to learn how to more effectively use questions to enhance understanding, unlock assumptions, and prevent breakdown in communication.
  • Therapists looking for new ways to ask questions to connect with clients.
  • Committee members in need of tools to draw on in order to keep the conversation calm when talking about a difficult topic with the public.
  • Journalists interested in exploring a new approach to interviewing.

Accreditation and Continuing Education:

We offer Continuing Education credits for this workshop. This workshop is approved for 6 clock hours for Massachusetts licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists, and New Hampshire pastoral psychotherapists. This program has been approved for 6 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. Collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons Schools of Social Work Authorization Number D 72317-1. Credits are accepted by the NH Board of Mental Health Practice for all licensed NH mental health professionals.

For more information or assistance, please contact or 617-923-1216 ext. 10.

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Small Group Exercises, Crafting Questions, Active Listening, Small Group Exercises


…one of the very best workshops I’ve attended. The facilitators established a learning atmosphere that was friendly and highly rigorous and professional.