If you’re familiar with the organization you’re serving, you already know the lay of the land. If not, ask around and learn who the principals are—the ones who know the most about the problems you’re tackling.
But before you finalize a conclusion, run it by other people—especially trusted associates who aren’t afraid of being honest and pointing out your errors, omissions, or what have you.
Our PROMISE: Quality Digest only displays static ads that never overlay or cover up content. They never get in your way. They are there for you to read, or not.
So please consider turning off your ad blocker for our site.
To that I would add, “avoid one-stop thinking.” If you’ve arrived at a simple, airtight solution, look again. Keep trying to poke holes in it.
However, someone has to pay for this content. And that’s where advertising comes in. Most people consider ads a nuisance, but they do serve a useful function besides allowing media companies to stay afloat. They keep you aware of new products and services relevant to your industry. All ads in Quality Digest apply directly to products and services that most of our readers need. You won’t see automobile or health supplement ads.
Once your interview is done and transcribed (my least favorite part), it’s time to form a conclusion based on the facts you’ve gathered.
Critical thinking is essential to information-gathering and problem-solving.
This definition alone doesn’t get you very far down the road. But the process comprises finding and choosing the questions, skillfully asking them, and getting the story. Reporters employ critical thinking to prepare and conduct interviews. Like a reporter, you need to get to the bottom of things and—hopefully—shed some light on the solution.
When interviewing an expert (especially a gruff one, or maybe your boss), wrap your questions in modesty. “This might seem like a dumb question,” or “What do you think of A and B?” lets the subject know you value, in fact need, their opinion. Your subject may be more inclined to be charitable.
You may, and often must, ask questions that might make the subject of the interview uncomfortable or even defensive. No one wants to be blamed or take on more responsibility because of an interview. But these questions may be the best you ask.
This type of interview differs from the first because you’re trying to advance past “just the facts” to gather the interviewee’s interpretations and opinions. After gathering the basic information, you’re furthering dialogue and searching for answers, solutions, and action plans.
Let’s look at Browne and Keeley’s three basic tenets.
Nearly as important as the questions you ask is how you ask them. “Open” questions invite the subject of your interview to do the talking—which really is the point. Although establishing the salient facts may involve obtaining simple answers, try to avoid asking questions that can be simply answered yes or no. They may confirm or contradict what you already know, but they won’t add much to your information.
That last one is an especially effective format for your questions because it gets what you want—that person’s knowledge and opinion.
How do you find the right questions? Throughout the fact-finding process, critical thinking is, well, critical. When you have to find facts and assemble a report, you can also look to journalism for advice and ideas on forming an interview and telling a story. News reporters do it every day.
Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2023 – 12:03