Mentor skills - Scenario - questioning: page 1 of 1

Guide: Another important communication skill for mentors is effective questioning. Questions enable the mentor to ask for known information and encourage the mentee to offer viewpoints, judgements and justifications.

Guide: Effective use of questioning is essential if one is to tease out of mentees what is going on in their minds and how they are perceiving the success or otherwise of their lessons.Have a look at Ayesha and Jay in their mentoring session.

Jay: Hi Ayesha - nice to see you. I've had a lot of work on, so I'm afraid I haven't completed all the objectives we set last session.

Ayesha: OK. Did you manage to use the observation sheets during your lesson?

Jay: Er, No.

Ayesha: Why was that?

Jay: Well, the photocopier was broken and I was a bit busy this week too.

Ayesha: Don't you think that by now you should have allowed for a photocopier breakdown in your planning?

Jay: Yeah, I suppose I should have, but it's difficult when you have to fill in these silly forms all the time.

Ayesha: Are you sure that's the real reason or could it be that you don't like the concept? Or maybe you feel threatened by the idea of student observations? What do you think?

Jay: Er, I'm not sure, what was the question?

Ayesha: Never mind. Let's leave that for now and move on.Did you have a team meeting this week?

Jay: Yes.

Ayesha: Do you feel more confident talking in a group situation?

Jay: Yes, a little.

Ayesha: Let me put it another way. How did you cope when you had to speak at the team meeting?

Jay: Well, I used some of the techniques we discussed at our last meeting to calm my nerves prior to going in. I also spent more time on preparing my discussion points and that really helped.

Guide: Ayesha used a mix of question types in that meeting. Some were more effective than others. One effective strategy was at the end when Ayesha changed the way she questioned Jay. She used open questions to encourage Jay to explain how he had got on in more detail.

Select the knowledge link to find out more about question types.

knowledge resource

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