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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Leading the Witness: How Asking Questions as a Trainer Can Limit Learning and Reduce Trust

"Asking questions can be a means of establishing authority, fulfilling leadership functions, and ensuring effective learning. In fact, asking questions is probably the most subtle power you have for controlling people. The person who asks questions always controls the conversation... if we could discipline our minds to ask questions instead, we could lead any conversation to wherever we wanted it because the other person would still be wrapped up in thinking what he or she wanted to say next...One of the rights you have as a trainer is to ask questions and expect answers. This is why question-asking is such a powerful tool. It challenges and avoids confrontation at the same time."

Mitchell, Garry, The Trainer's Handbook: The AMA Guide to Effective Training, Amacom, 1998, p 63.

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