#SGZA 2015: Super Powerful Questions

Posted: October 26, 2015 in Agile, Team
Tags: , , ,

I recently attended the regional Scrum Gathering for 2015 in Johannesburg. This is a post in a series on the talks that I attended. All posts are based on the sketch-notes that I took in the sessions. 


This was an interactive workshop type session by the ladies from @GrowingAgile.

My main take-outs from the session:

  1. You can ask powerful questions without understanding the problem: One of the exercises we did was to pick a random powerful question from a pack of cards. We gave our partner two minutes to explain their problem and then asked the powerful question. Majority of the time, the person found the question helpful, even though it was randomly picked.
  2. Your intent matters: The intent is not to fix the problem. The intent needs to help the person expand their own thinking so that they can get themselves out of a rut (and hopefully solve their problem themselves).
  3. Your role matters: Depending on the context, your role in terms of the person may impact the authenticity of using powerful questions.
  4. The most powerful questions are questions about the “why”.

There are some examples of powerful questions in the sketch note. Try using one of them next time you’re struggling with a problem and see what happens. One of my ideas is try them out at one of our Community of Interest sessions.

  1. Dillon says:

    Nice write up of the talk. With regards to the “Why” question. Why challenges a persons values and beliefs, and from my experience, although it is a powerful question, it should be used timely and sparingly.

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