an approach to creating personal and social change

    a Web Resource

    based on the paper "STRATEGIC QUESTIONING" by Fran Peavey
    and edited by Vivian Hutchinson

    STRATEGIC QUESTIONING is the skill of asking the questions that will make a difference. It is a powerful tool for personal and social change. It is a tool for giving service to any issue ... as it helps people discover their own strategies and ideas for change.

    STRATEGIC QUESTIONING involves a special type of question and a special type of listening. We can use strategic questioning to help friends, co-workers, political allies and adversaries to create their own solutions to any problem.

    STRATEGIC QUESTIONING is a process that usually changes the listener as well as the person being questioned. A strategic question opens both of us to another point of view. It invites our ideas to shift and take into account of new information and new possibilities. And it invokes that special creativity that can forge fresh strategies for meeting challenges.

    DOWNLOAD this paper in PDF format (553kb)


    Key Features
    A Special Type of Question

    Shaping a Strategic Question
    A Strategic Questioning Toolbox

    A Special Type of Listening
    Questioning and Working for Social Change

    Go Forth and Question!

    Stories of Strategic Questioning

    QUESTIONING is a basic tool for rebellion. It breaks open the stagnant hardened shells of the present, and opens up the options that might be explored.

    QUESTIONING reveals the profound uncertainty that is imbedded deep in all reality beyond the facades of confidence and sureness. It takes this uncertainty towards growth and new possibilities.

    QUESTIONING can change your entire life. It can uncover hidden powers and stifled dreams inside of you ... things you may have denied for many years.

    QUESTIONING can change institutions and entire cultures. It can empower people to create strategies for change.

    ASKING A QUESTION that leads to a strategy for action is a powerful contribution to resolving any problem.

    ASKING QUESTIONS that open up more options can lead to many unexpected solutions.

    ASKING QUESTIONS that help adversaries shift from their stuck positions on an issue can lead to acts of healing and reconciliation.

    ASKING QUESTIONS that are unaskable in our culture at the moment can lead to the transformation of our culture and its institutions.

    ASKING QUESTIONS and listening for the strategies and ideas embedded in people’s own answers can be the greatest service a social change worker can give to a particular issue.

    Published on the web by
    Vivian Hutchinson, Taranaki, New Zealand.
    March 1997
    The url for this page is