The Investigate protocol allows you to learn about a phenomenon that occurs in someone else. Use it when an idea or behavior someone is presenting seems poor, confusing, or simply interesting.
- Act as if you were a detached but fascinated inquirer, asking questions until your curiosity is satisfied or you no longer want to ask questions.
- Ask well-formed questions.
- Ask only questions that will increase your understanding.
- Ask questions only if the subject is engaged and appears ready to answer more.
- Refrain from offering opinions.
- Do not ask leading questions where you think you know how he or she will answer.
- If you cannot remain a detached, curious investigator with no agenda, stop using the protocol until you can come back to it and keep these commitments.
- Do not theorize about the subject or provide any sort of diagnosis.
- Consider using the following forms for your questions:
- What about X makes you Y, Z?
- Would you explain a specific example?
- How does X go when it happens?
- What is the one thing you want most from solving X?
- What is the biggest problem you see regarding X now?
- What is the most important thing you could do right now to help you with X?
- Ineffective queries include questions that:
- lead or reflect an agenda,
- attempt to hide an answer you believe is true,
- invite stories, or
- begin with “why”.
- Stick to your intention of gathering more information.
- If you feel that you will explode if you can’t say what’s on your mind, you shouldn’t speak at all. Consider checking your intention or checking out.