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You have planned your facilitation, you have used the Naomi model to get yourself a really good structure for your facilitated session. Where we are going now is give you some tools and techniques that you will be using during that facilitated session. Already we have talked about asking really good questions, so we are going to give you some ideas around what a really good question might look like. You have probably heard of open questions and closed questions. Just a little review of what open questions are. Open questions are questions where you can not give a yes or no answer. They are the questions that have people talking to you. They usually start with words like, what, where, when, who, and how.

There is another open question, that is, why. Sometimes people get a little bit twitchy about being asked why so when you want to ask somebody why, you might ask them something like, "Tell me a little bit more about how that happened." "Tell me a little bit more about that particular situation," I remember the open questions by drawing myself a little H. The H stands for how, and the H looks like a wall. Then I write five Ws on that wall and they look like five little backsides sitting on that wall. The W stands for the who, the what, the where, the when, and the why. And the little wall is the H for the how. That might help you to remember.

Another way to remember open questions, there is a Rudyard Kipling poem which you will be able to find online and that might help you if you remember things by having a little rhyme.

So open questions will get people talking to you. Open questions do not have to start with a question word. I have already said something like, "Tell me about," "Please could you share with me." That is not a question but you are asking people for information.

Closed questions are really good when you want some specific information. A closed question, "Do you?" "Did you?" "Can you?" "Are you?" will get you specific information. But closed questions can be answered yes or no. So if you want a yes or no answer, then use a closed question. Sometimes during your facilitation, you will be wanting to gather some quantitative data. So you will want to know perhaps how many people in the room say yes to a particular thing, how many people say no. You can use closed questions in that respect.

There is another technique around questioning which you might want to use and it is called funnelling. We have talked about open questions. The funnel starts with a big open question, "Tell me about your experience of using this particular service," for example. That is a really big open question that could get you all sorts of answers. Once you have had those answers, you may want to start coming down the funnel to be more specific. You may use a phrase such as, "So you have told me that your experience is this, could you tell me a little bit more about that particular area?" You are narrowing the person's information down to get more specific. And right at the bottom of your funnel, you might use a closed question, "Are you happy for me to share this information?" Yes or no. "Have you got any more information to share with me?" Yes or no. The funnelling technique can be used a number of times during a facilitated session, but it is a really useful technique when you want to start big and narrow down to specifics.

So, what we have talked about there, we have talked about open questions, we have talked about closed questions, we have talked about questions that do not end in a question mark, and we have talked about using the funnelling technique. A little exercise to finish this session will be for you to grab yourself yet another piece of paper, or use the back of one of the pieces of paper you have already got and start thinking about the questions that you might use during the sessions that you are going to facilitate. Make yourself a list of some of those big opening questions, then make yourself a list of some of those more specific questions that really relate to the objectives for the facilitation that you are going to be doing.