This is a follow on post from my post called Ask How (Don’t say No). Sometimes in some situations it makes more sense to Ask Why to increase understanding.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a passionate conversation about a topic. Someone says something, perhaps in a strident tone, this can force a reaction from others that implies that what has been said is wrong. The response can stop conversation dead in it’s tracks as processing of the remarks take place.
Now a facilitator can help keep the conversation going and relieve the tension and let the point carry on to it’s final conclusion. We don’t have a facilitator all the time though, so we can train ourselves to react quickly still but thoughtfully as well.
I suggest the first response is ‘Why?’, ‘Why do you say that?’ This could help create a response that helps the person retrieve an important item that adds further context. Sometimes excitement causes that person to forget to mention that important piece of context. Asking Why is an Open Question and keeps the conversation going rather than perhaps escalating into an out and out disagreement.