The Question Generator
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The Question Generator

 

What is the Question Generator?
       
The Question Generator, developed by Peter Rennie of Leadership Australia, is a group process that helps leaders ensure their people can participate fully during or after a presentation or seminar through further stimulating their thinking and asking questions.  Importantly it enables participants to ask any question, including ‘undiscussibles.’ 

A copy of the specifically designed question sheet follows.  We typically find that clients love this simple tool.  After his first time using The Question Generator, Ray Mundy, Managing Director, John Sands Australia said ‘And they got out of their seats and applauded.  I’ve never had a client organisation respond like that.’

The Question Generator

What is the process for using the Question Generator?

There are three easy steps, one difficult step and a caution.

The three easy steps

    1. Give an overview of the process and the reason for it.  (See example below)
    2. Allow plenty of time to answer questions.  Furthermore you may also commit to emailing your response to all questions that you either could not answer or did not have time to answer.  Some leadership teams find it useful to gather all Question Generator forms for later reading and discussion, providing insights into where their peoples real concerns and thinking lie. 3.
    3. Instruct people to:

Take five minutes to talk to your neighbour and formulate a question.
Write down your neighbour’s question on the downloaded Question Generator sheet When instructed, exchange your sheet with someone else’s sheet in the room.  Important, we don’t want your neighbour’s sheet with your question on it.  The rationale for this is we want to minimise the sense of being known as the person who asked the question.  This would otherwise inhibit people asking a nitty gritty question they would ideally like the leader to answer.
Put forward the question that is now in your possession, ie: that someone else has written.

One difficult step

Answer the question with integrity. 

      Remember that even though you may think a question is “unworthy” at least three
      people have an investment in that question:

 

A caution

If there are presenters who have not had previous experience with The Question Generator it is important to discuss the process with them beforehand.  They will need to know they may be asked some trickier than usual questions and will appreciate the courtesy.

 

What do you need?

 

An example for you to follow:

In this example Ray Mundy, Managing Director of John Sands Australia had just completed a presentation on an area of change to a large group of senior managers. 

After a short pause he said . . . . ‘I would like to answer some questions that you might have.  But first I would like you to talk with the person in the adjacent seat about your responses to the presentation.  Take five minutes.  As you talk, come up with a question that you would like to ask me.  It’s okay if you have more than one question.  Ask your partner to write the question down.  Please don’t write your own question down.  We are doing this so that you can be sure that no matter what question you want answered you can ask it without being picked on.’

When people had finished Ray spoke again.  ‘Please exchange the paper with someone either in front of you or behind you. . . . . . . You should now have someone else’s question.  Who would like to ask the question written on the paper in front of them?’  

 

*A leader who models ROCK behaviour displays Respect; takes Ownership of their part in something that goes awry; Credits others for their good work and Keeps commitments. 

For information on the Question Generator or the FIBS ROCK model please contact Leadership Australia through the Contact page on this website. We will be happy to talk through any of your queries regarding use of The Question Generator.  We see this as a win/win.  You win because you will have the distinctions needed to ensure the best results The Question Generator can offer.  We win because we will feel more confident that this process will work for you and we want to ensure the name and reputation of Leadership Australia is upheld.