Three types of questions for learning skills

As someone approaches learning a new skill, coaches need to approach them with three types of questions. These different types of questions are progressive, building on one another, and people aren’t able to process all of them at once.

  1. The “what” questions:  People first need clarification on what they are trying to learn. Where are they going?  What will they be accomplishing?  “What” questions clarify the goals and objectives. For example, someone who wants to lead a missional community may need to answer “What is a missional community supposed to look like?” and “What will I need to learn?”
  2. The “want to” questions: This second set of questions is more internal to the person: Do I want to do this? Is this line with where God wants me to go? “Want to” questions address questions of motivation: the why, the value, the benefit. The would-be missional community leader may feel a sense of calling to help people become more like Jesus through leading a missional community.
  3. The “how to questions: These questions drill down to the specific skills that need to be learned and the processes by which they can be learned. They point people toward training, apprenticing, and skill development. “How can I learn the skills I need to practice to facilitate a missional community group effectively?”

These questions need to go in order.  People can’t address the “how” questions if they haven’t determined their answers to the “what” and the “want to” questions.