Questioning

Section subject: Questioning techniques and strategies.

Introduction

One of the main tools available to the mentor is questioning. Exchanges – of information, ideas, views, feelings, behaviour, facts, stories, i.e. communication – take place more readily when questioning is effective and suited to the moment. Different questioning techniques will be suitable for each phase in the mentoring process: Beginning, Developmental, Confirmation and Ending.

Learning objectives

This section helps you to:

Questioning and process stages

At the beginning of the mentor/mentee relationship the mentor may have to set the agenda and organise meetings.

As time goes by, the mentee should be encouraged to determine the agenda for meetings and determine the pace of the meeting.

In the Beginning and Developmental phases the mentor should not be too vigorous or too critical with questioning. However, as you move towards the Confirmation and Ending phases it is likely that questioning will become more vigorous and instigate critical dialogue.

Questioning strategies

Final word

Questioning is a powerful tool in the mentoring and communicating process. A mentor must be mindful of how they use it and of which stage in the mentoring relationship they are at.

If you remember that the mentor’s role is supportive and developmental then individual performance can be improved without damaging confidence and self-esteem. In the end, people tend to perform to the expectations others have of them.

You might like to reflect on the issues arising from this section and make some notes for the future.


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