Resource: Potent Questions

How it works:

During a variety of sessions it helps to have some potent questions that can inspire participants to engage in a deeper level of conversation – especially getting them past the question “what do you do?”
The following questions are provided from Impact Journeys to help provoke deeper dialogue, especially around impact investing.

  1. Where is your favorite place to live, and why is it so special to you?
  2. What person do you admire greatly, and what characteristics make this person so special?
  3. What are the key elements that hold your family together?
  4. If you could shape the opinion of a group of influential people, what would you say and to whom?
  5. If you could be doing anything you want at this time next year, what would it be?
  6. Where and when have you experienced the powerful effect of kindness and generosity?
  7. What lessons emerge for you from the story of your family’s creation of wealth?
  8. If you knew you would not fail, what would you do?
  9. When was the last time you did something for the first time, and what did you do?
  10. Who is your most unusual friend, and what makes this relationship special to you?
  11. How would you describe how decisions are made in your family?
  12. How do generational differences show up in your family dynamics?
  13. Who or what is the biggest obstacle preventing you from living a more meaningful and impactful life?
  14. If you knew you would not be judged, what would you change about your life?
  15. When did you bring the best version of yourself to a situation, and what allowed you to do this?
  16. Which family tradition do you value the most, and why?
  17. What life experiences moved you to take action?
  18. What person has most positively shaped your life, and how did they do it?
  19. When have you seen a small action cause a much bigger positive impact than expected?
  20. How is conflict handled by your family, and what role do you play?

Suggestions for Optimal Effectiveness:

  • Impact Journeys has created some beautiful cards with these questions and wonderful graphic images.  You can contact Scott Rehmus (scott@impactjourneys.com) if you would like to learn more.
  • Introducing one question for everyone to explore combined with another format like Trio Storytelling or Think Pair Square can be really powerful.
  • You can also use a series of questions or cards to help prompt dialog during networking sessions or meal times.

Time Required:

  • Generally, give 3-5 minutes per person to answer the question.

Materials Required:

  • Plan to show the question visually in addition to doing so verbally.  You can use a ppt slide or flipchart to show the question.

Chief benefit is:

  • All participants are able to share their perspective and you get a chance to go deeper with questions that provoke some deeper reflection.