The Power of the Right Question

There is a group of brave souls that are resilient enough to allow me to pretend to fence with them. I'd heartily recommend fencing to any Librarian; it teaches us to take the initiative. There is as much in the mind as there is in the body to the sport, so it's perfect for us all.

As I was sitting in the bleachers after a bout, one of the parents struck up a lovely conversation about education. She was incredibly easy to converse with. After a bit of small talk I took a minute before striking away from the path of discussion.

"How did you instill grace in your children?"

Her eyes lit up. I had clearly hit home on one of the important values taught within the family.

We learn the reference interview in Library School. Do we really learn the extent of asking the right question? As one of the very few government entities that is expected to collect donations on an ongoing basis, do we honour how far our interactions take us? We too often go for superficial relationships with business donors over the gardening required to foster meaningful and sustained giving.

Are you asking the right questions? Can you tell when you do? Is it worth the risk of touching a nerve?