Posing Mediative Questions—Tentative Language

“The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.” —Peter Abelard

In your Adaptive Schools Foundation Seminar and/or your Cognitive Coaching Foundation Seminar®, you learned that questions can transform thinking. The skillfulness with which you pose questions can be the key to inviting more complex thinking.

The third element that invites thinking is tentative language. Tentative language offers the green light to explore. Words like possibility, consider, hunch, might, and option encourage the thinker to venture beyond their current reasoning. In meetings offer, “What are your hunches about…?” “What else might we consider…?” “What are other options?”

Make a deliberate effort this week to use tentative language. Notice how it effects both individuals and groups. How might you consciously refine your skill of posing questions that include tentative language?