Crafting questions that matter
September 4, 2014
Yeti, Julavits and Shapton asked the following types of questions
Do you think you have taste or style?
Do you notice women on the street?
Do you have a dress code?
When do you feel your most attractive? [Can you] tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear?
Are there any dressing rules you’d convey to other women?
What’s your process of getting dressed every morning?
What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
What’s the situation with your hair?
Spivack asked these questions:
Tell me a story, connected to a piece of clothing that you still have in your possession in which something monumental, spectacular, odd or even just unusual happened while you were wearing it.
Why is it special?
Why does it have meaning?
And why are you holding on to it?
These are fantastic questions – they invite a reflective response from respondents. They ask for stories but don’t constrain answers. In all cases you get the sense that there is genuine interest and curiosity at play. It strikes me that with a few minor tweaks these questions could be applied to organisational contexts where people might be invited to tell their stories of working life; relationships with what they do and why they do it; narratives of choice, curation and consideration.