Asking Outside the Box Questions

Posted on October 28, 2013

Dakota Resources
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When we come together in community groups or committees working hard to make this a better place to live, we all know to start by asking questions. We try to focus on the issues at hand, define the parameters of our discussions, and we ask the questions that seem logical to us—What are we going to do? What is the right course of action to take? Where do we go from here? Our goal seems to be narrowing our field of vision to meet our challenges head-on.

What happens if, instead of trying to make our approach to any issue simple, we step back and look at the complexities of every community challenge? Before we proceed to possible solutions, we can gain valuable perspective by asking some “outside the box” questions.

We can start by asking, “What are we not seeing in this picture? What might we be overlooking?” By widening our focus outside the obvious, we might learn something we hadn’t thought of initially.

We also gain something by looking around the room and asking, “Who is missing from this conversation?” By considering whose perspectives we are inadvertently excluding, we not only encourage more community involvement, we might also learn something about the issue itself.
Instead of looking at the challenge in front of us, what if we try to look at its causes? “What conflicts, gaps, system breakdowns or dysfunctions could be causing the effects we’re trying to deal with?” Again, by looking beyond the obvious, we gain a fresh look at the issue—and at our community and those influences that might be causing unintentional negative results.

It’s a whole new way of thinking about community concerns—and it starts with asking those outside the box questions. Even more important than the questions, however, is the next step—listening carefully to the perhaps unexpected answers. Let’s bring a fresh perspective to our community meetings with a few new—and potentially informative—questions.

Be entertained while thinking about a new way of thinking

Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media creates entertaining, engaging and compelling feature films, documentaries and other forms of media with a focus on stories and characters that create awareness of real issues that shape our lives and help us or keep us from creating.  The goal, first and foremost, is to entertain audiences, then to motivate them to think outside the box inside the box themselves and create from wherever they are with whatever they have right now and in the process, make a difference, small or large, in their own lives and the lives of others.

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