"Consider an upcoming conversation you are hosting and ask yourself these questions:

"What question, if explored thoroughly, could provide the breakthrough possibilities we are seeking?

"Is this question relevant to the real life or real work of the people who will be exploring it?

"Is this a genuine question — a question to which I/we really don't know the answer?

"What work do I want this question to do? That is, what kind of conversation, meanings, and feelings do I imagine this question will evoke in those who will be exploring it?

"What assumptions or beliefs are embedded in the way this question is constructed?

"Is this question likely to generate hope, imagination, engagement, new thinking, and creative action, or is it likely to increase a focus on past problems and obstacles?

"Does this question leave room for new and different questions to be raised as the initial question is explored?

"Questions adapted from Sally Ann Roth, Public Conversations Project, © 1998."