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The Art of Asking Questions with Oya Günay

We have become more and more aware that asking questions are the “cine qua non” of building positive relationships.

With the help of countless techniques and methods we think we know how to ask questions. However, we often fail to accept our questions are just another form of telling - excepting the other party to hit the answer in our minds. In this workshop, we were off to a journey to reflect on our awareness of the oft-neglected foundations, which play a key role in asking questions.

An inspiring member of the TurkishWIN brain trust and executive coach Oya Günay, hosted a learning circle to guide us to a mindset- to able to ask the right questions on May 31, 2018 in Istanbul. She has been a member of TurkishWIN since 2010!

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Oya first told us a story about three people- giving us a two-minute glimpse from their daily life. When invited to complete the picture, an interactive session followed. As you can guess, we all had so many assumptions after hearing a two- minute story!

First lesson: Dear friend- you shall not assume, if you are genuinely curious about the other, when asking questions.

We walked through three basic elements for asking questions, we mean good questions:

First, acceptance of one’s reality is most crucial. Accept, do not assume, do not judge. Consider the reality of that person from his/her lens. Unless you are in the acceptance mindset and approach someone with open, non-judging questions, they will not answer your question openly and with real answers. Why not? People communicate openly only when they don’t feel threatened.

Getting to this mindset is not as easy as it sounds. Believe us, we tried to ask these questions with some interactive exercises! Judgment creeps in so quickly.

Second, bring along that curiosity.  Kids are so curious. As we grow up, we leave that curiosity behind. Sad but true.

Well, Oya showed us some awesome pictures to tickle that curiosity and we asked away open questions.

Third, slow down. Well, what is your physical distance from the person you are asking a question to? How quickly do you roll these questions?  

Physical interaction deserves some physical distance. Mind the gap to make the other party feel comfortable. And there is a very fine line between questioning and investigating.  When you ask questions one after another, not pacing yourself, you may have switched to investigation mode, beware!

Last but not least, be brave while asking questions and create your own style.

Oya had remarked that TurkishWIN learning circles have been a constant in her life- attending or giving one- in the ups and downs of life and events around us. She added: “These sharing circles give me hope and I know there are people like me caring about their self-development as well as the society. Every time, I am filled with hope and leave with hope at TurkishWIN.”

Well, dear Oya Gunay, thank you for boosting our confidence in the generosity of women like you- sharing their know-how to help another sister! Thank you for this awesome learning circle – we all reflected and took away something home and to our hearts.

We also thank our venue partner, Joint Idea, for hosting this event.

You can stay updated about upcoming TurkishWIN events by joining our newsletter here or joining us a TurkishWINer!  (add links please)

May inspiration and sisterhood be always with you… 

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