Posing the right question

I’ve realised that it’s actually very hard to ask a question, a revelation which is rather annoying considering we only learn by asking questions so how are we ever going to learn to ask the right questions if it’s so difficult to ask the right question in the first place? Such complexities aside I realised this – although I suspect I might have known it for a while – whilst at a post-show discussion/Q & A earlier in the week.

Asking the right question at such an event is always tricky, especially if you’re like me and rehearse the damn thing in your head to perfection so many times you get too nervous to blurt the thing out. There’s no such thing as a right or wrong question, we are taught, but there is isn’t there. Your question has to make sense, it has to be understood and there is always somebody at one of these events who just doesn’t seem to get this rule. They blurt out their question and are met with confused expressions, they expand on their already convoluted and directionless wondering further tangling the lines of meaning up in themselves and they just don’t stop. At this point I usually feel sorry for the person faced with the task of answering such a question.

This phenomenon happens all the time, which is why I’m so nervous about the whole question writing thing. I’m sure you can imagine, then, my apprehension when I received an email about a workshop I’m attending this weekend the only instruction for which is that we think of an “urgent” question to ask the workshop leader. Oh. No…I’ll let you know how my quest for the most urgent question I have to ask at this stage in my life (discovery required by Saturday) goes.

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