We know that being an effective facilitator is all about being neutral, listening and asking questions. But which questions?
If you follow the Technology of Participation (ToP)® then you will have heard of ORID questions: four levels of questions for a facilitator to use when seeking meaningful collaboration with a group that go progressively from Objective, to Reflective, on to Interpretive and finally the Decisional level. The thinking behind the approach is to take participants on a journey from the objective data, through their emotional responses on to a deeper intuitive level in order to come to a decision.
John Luther, the fictional detective in the BBC drama series seems to know all about ORID. In series 3 episode 3, look how he interviews a traumatized witness.
First question: what did the man say? Examining the data and identifying factual information.
Second question: do you remember anything about his voice, maybe he had an accent? The witness answers “it was nice” – reflective level (memory)
Third question: and then? (Luther goes back to the facts), the question means what happened next?
Fourth question: can you describe him? Then he adds (showing photos of two victims – more objective data) “the killer of these two men” as if to bring the witness back to the cold, hard facts and away from her subjective memory of the killer’s kindness.
Then the witness releases her deep emotion and interprets the situation she lived through giving meaning to the extraordinary event.
Powerful climax (decisional level affirmation):
“I would rather go to prison myself”.
So whether it be John Luther investigating a double murder with the killer on the loose or you the facilitator running a consensus workshop, ORID can be a great tool to have meaningful conversations!