As a pastor of a bible church in a drug-riddled Philadelphia neighborhood known as the Badlands, Joel Van Dyke was determined to reach the youth of that community—but for years had no luck figuring out how to do so. Then, after stumbling upon the e. e. cummings line about “beautiful questions,” Van Dyke decided to use questioning as an outreach tool. Instead of trying to tell local youths that he knew what they needed, “I decided to ask, “What would you do to reach yourself?” His willingness to immerse himself in the community and ask that question led to a surprising conversation. Community youths (including gang leaders) told him they desperately wanted a place to play handball, but had been locked out of the local facilities. “Throw a big handball tournament,” they told Van Dyke, “and we’ll bring all our friends.” Van Dyke’s church went on to sponsor four tournaments a year, which also provided a venue to share the ministry’s message.
A few Question quotes
Critical thinking quotes
Latest on the blog...
Want to be a better critical thinker? Questions can be a powerful way to spot false narratives and “weaponized lies.” Read more about it in this article I wrote for The Atlantic’s Quartz.com.
The following eight questions—shared by a noteworthy lineup of entrepreneurs, innovators, consultants, and creative thinkers—can help you figure out where your heart lies and what you really ought to be doing.
I don’t know if they qualify as “beautiful questions” but there’s something oddly fascinating about the imaginative questions that band leader Reggie Watts asks the guests of James Corden’s The Late Late Show.
At the 2016 Capital Coaches Conference I’ll be discussing my belief that coaches, who already know the power of great questions, should teach their clients how to become beautiful questioners themselves.
In The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier, Michael shares 7 powerful questions that can make someone a better leader or manager.