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‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Broad themes from the reading.
What is the main aim of the chapter?
– Develop a wider understand of the need for questioning
– Understand the various types of questioning and why it is used
– How questions can be influenced
– Understand how questions are presented and the impact this has
Identify three or four key themes within the chapter.
– Questioning Importance
– Questioning Structure
– Types of Questions

Claims and evidence
Can you identify any claims made in the chapter? What evidence is used to substantiate the claims – discuss one example.
– The chapter claimed that children do not answer questions in class due to the fear that their classmates will react negatively. This was followed by an example and US Study. This showed that as children grow older they feel less comfortable to ask or answer questions in the classroom. However males, whites, higher-income groups, those with higher self-esteem and those who felt accepted by their peers all felt more at ease to do so.

Analysis and evaluation
Pick one thing you might disagree with; what evidence can you use to defend this stance?
– I personally disagree with questions always being more important than the answer. I understand and agree that the question asked will help to guide the answer, however the answer can tell a lot about the individual. The chapter quotes Voltaire who states, “Judge a man not by his answers, but by his questions”. Questions can help to guide however an individual can still manipulate an answer to suit them, therefore telling us a lot about them and their morals. For example, within a court room with a suspect, they are likely to avoid the truth, showing they were guilty.

Knowledge and understanding
Identify words you are unsure of and find out what they mean
– Inapposite
– Meaning out of place or inappropriate
What theories or concepts are mentioned in the chapter?
“Funnel Sequence”
The Funnel Sequence is when questions asked are open: “What do you do at the weekends”. This allows the response to have many possible answers, then allowing questioner to gain understanding of the subject’s interests, needs and wants. As the conversation goes on, it gradually progresses to closed questions: “Where were you at 8pm last night”. The answer should then have only one real answer. This then looks like a funnel as it starts of wide, then gradually becomes more narrow.


‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Reflective Questions

Group and Leadership

  • There was no clear group leader as it was a strong team effort. Everyone was included and most tasks in building our den required partner work. For example, two people holding a section while someone was taping something down.  Personally i don’t think we encountered any challenges when working with this group. It was my first experience working with two members and this was a great ice breaker.


  • Often explaining was hard, both for myself to explain and to understand others. This was because we had clear ideas in our heads as to how we should achieve our den, however trying to articulate it was tricky. This meant we had to explain slowly and answer any questions.
  • I do think we lacked the Planning aspect. We gained ideas along the way and never had a set goal. We were happy to let the den be created as we completed sections bit by bit.


  • The environment played a factor in that we could talk at a comfortable register as there was no battle to be heard.
  •  In a classroom, we could have drawn on the board to help aid an explanation.
  •  The environment wasn’t particularly hard to speak/listen in, however distraction definitely was a factor. Whether that be watching other groups or shouting because someone has spotted a squirrel.


  • Our negotiation was successful as we did manage to borrow a team member, however the team we borrowed from was not too happy. We negotiated a large stick for a team member. Luckily, both us and them were nearly finished so it didn’t make a huge impact either way. However it is challenging because we both have different visions for dens and the new team member had to quickly adjust.

Getting Started

I am very excited to be getting started. We have recently discovered the school we will be visiting, however don’t yet know the primary class. This will determine how I conduct myself; my tone, materials etc.

I am hoping to make a good impression with the school and I am very excited to meet everyone. Hoping I will learn valuable skills and can put my learning into practise.