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‘Bad’ questions: 10 types of questions you should never ask

'BAD' QUESTIONS: 10 TYPES OF QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD NEVER ASK I’m back with a new episode today all about my favourite subject - I'm talking about 'bad' questions, and specifically, 10 types of questions you should never ask (or at least try to avoid!). Good questions can be many things: clear, simple and purposeful but also relevant, concise and perhaps, even powerful. But is there such a thing as a 'bad' question? And if so, what types of questions are 'bad'? Why types of questions should we be avoiding on our museum tours and programmes? To find

Quick ways to improve your questioning technique

QUICK WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUESTIONING TECHNIQUE The ability to ask powerful, relevant and incisive questions is one of the most useful skills you can have.  With a good questioning technique you can instantly engage people, provoke their curiosity, find out what they already know and make your programmes more interactive. Questioning is not an innate talent for most of us - we have to work hard at developing a good questioning technique.  It’s a skill and, like all skills, we need to actively work on it to improve it.  So, how exactly can you get better

How to Use Artworks to Improve your Questioning Skills

HOW TO USE ARTWORKS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUESTIONING SKILLS SUMMARY How can you improve your questioning skills without resorting to reading long lists of tips and techniques and do's and don'ts? What can you use to help you create, sort and evaluate better questions? The simple answer is: ART. I’ve been using artworks for years to help me to brainstorm, sort, re-word and improve my questions. Artworks (and objects) provide an engaging and focused way to work on your questioning skills. I’m not an ‘expert questioner’ by any means and have found that this is a skill that

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Asking Questions

10 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN ASKING QUESTIONS SUMMARY For some people questioning comes easily. But for the majority of us, we are not asking enough questions AND we’re not phrasing them in the best way. The good news is that we can all become better questioners with time and practice. To become a better questioner, it’s really important first all to avoid the 10 common mistakes I talk about in this episode. Which ones of these are you guilty of? I’ve certainly done a few of these in the past! And stay tuned until the end where

My Ten Most Popular Blog Posts of 2020

What did you enjoy reading the most on the Thinking Museum blog in 2020? It’s always good to reflect at the end of the year before starting a new one – and it was really interesting to see which of my blog posts were the most popular! Did you catch all of these? Scroll through this list, and catch up on our top blogs you may have missed throughout the year. Let's start the countdown... 10. What is Visible Thinking in the Museum? Starting our countdown at number 10, ‘What is Visible Thinking in the Museum?' I found out

9 Easy Ways to Use Artworks to Improve your Questioning Skills

I’ve been using artworks for years as visual information to help me to brainstorm, re-word and improve my questions. I’m not an ‘expert questioner’ by any means and have found that this is a skill that I have had to consistently work at to improve. By using artworks, I really enjoy the process too. There are lots of interesting ways you can do this - here are 9 ways you can use artworks to improve your questioning skills. 1. Choose an Artwork that Promotes Curiosity You want something that is complex enough to foster inquiry, but not so complicated that

Learn how to ask good questions (by Looking at Art)

Learn How to Ask Good Questions (by looking at art) We spend our days asking questions, but most of us never actually spend any time honing our questioning skills. For some people questioning comes easily. But for the majority of us, we are not asking enough questions AND we’re not phrasing them in the best way.  I feel we’re missing a trick here. The ability to ask good questions is one of the most useful skills you can have. You can instantly engage people, provoke curiosity, find out what people already know and solve problems.  The good news is that we

11 quick ways to improve your questioning technique

The ability to ask powerful, relevant and incisive questions is one of the most useful skills you can have. You can instantly engage people, provoke curiosity, find out what people already know and make your programmes more interactive. But what makes a ‘good’ question? Good questions are those that invite discussion and encourage exploration. Poor questions can cut a discussion short and put pressure on participants to answer.  Taking the time to improve, plan and work on your questions will prompt more responses, deeper thoughts and will engage your participants more in the theme or subject of your discussion.   So,

Using Thinking Routines to Formulate Better Questions

Questioning is THE skill to master when you want to create engaging discussions & dialogue around art and objects. Questions help us learn, avoid misunderstandings, gauge prior knowledge, manage, coach and build relationships. It's a big subject and there's lots to cover. I have previously talked about how to ask brilliant questions that get results and 9 mistakes to avoid when asking questions. Developing better questioning skills is something we can all work on. Sure, it takes practice and effort, but over time we can all develop the ability to formulate better questions that get good responses. Today, I'd like

Tips & Tools: 7 Tips to Get Over a ‘Tumbleweed Moment’

Have you asked a question to the participants on your tour and no one responds? You look around and all you can see are blank faces. You wait a little longer and still nothing happens. Just the sound of tumbleweed rustling by.... Awkward. Yes, that's the 'tumbleweed moment'; a period of 'dead air or stony, unresponsive silence'. Silence is scary because you don't know what people are thinking. It could mean anything. BUT the good news is that it happens to us all and it's relatively easy to fix. Here are my 7 tips to get over a tumbleweed moment.