The Participation Blog

The Last Question You Should Always Ask

I honestly don’t remember who told me, but I guess somehow I was smart enough to take it to heart and I’ve done this ever since. Back when I was just a mere public engagement tadpole, someone wiser and more experienced than I gave me one of the golden tickets for getting truly useful information out of people during the stakeholder and issue assessments that almost all of us use … or should use. In virtually any conversation or interview, one of the most important and useful last questions should always be “What’s a question that I should have asked you that I haven’t yet asked?” It works because it throws control back to the subject; it’s a disarming but creative question and it begs for an answer that might have never crossed your mind to ask. There are various ways to construct that question – put it in your own voice and style, but I think you get the idea.