Can contextual inquiry solve our problems?

(*information obtained from the book “A More Beautiful Question”)

The wrong question is asked, based on incomplete information or faulty assumptions, often because those formulating the questions are too far removed from the problem they’re trying to solve. One of the best ways to overcome this is try to close the distance between the questioner and the problem.

Contextual Inquiry is about asking questions up close and in context, relying on observation, listening, and empathy to guide us toward a more intelligent, and therefore more effective, question.

This method of questioning will lead to better solutions because it doesn’t cause people to jump to conclusions; it’s causing people to get closer to the problem so they can better understand the question. Then you would not just throwing questions out there to be heard but you would be more intentional and purposeful with your questions.

In addition, to do contextual inquiry correctly, you must have a willingness to go out into the world with a curious and open mind, to observe closely, and perhaps most important to listen.

Listening informs questioning. One of the keys to being a good questioner is to stop reflexively asking so many thoughtless questions and pay attention; eventually, a truly interesting question may come to mind. You need to listen with your whole body, using all senses to absorb what’s going on around you.

What are your thoughts?

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