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Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations
Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations

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4.1 Stretch questions in practice

You will now spend some time thinking about and practising asking stretch questions. Asking questions is a real craft and it will take some time to become really good at it, but we are all more than capable of excelling in this practice.

Activity 4 Problems facing your organisation

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Visit the discussion forum [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Spend 30 minutes thinking about a problem facing your organisation that needs some serious thinking. Start a post describing the problem (no more than 100 words). Make sure you post your comments within the correct thread for this activity. Now find the post of a fellow learner and pose an open question to that person, something that might help the learner think about their problem in a different light. To get you underway, we have posted something about a current issue facing the OU at the present time – so please feel free to practise on us before having a go with your own organisations.


Asking good questions takes time and practice, so don’t be surprised if it takes you a couple of attempts before settling into a rhythm. We will keep an eye on your contributions and help push you in the right direction where we can. Onwards into the unknown!

Practice for the week: stretch questions

Try to find opportunities this week to practice stretch questions with your family, friends and colleagues (you may want to warn them that you are doing this!) As with anything (art, sports, music), leadership takes practice. Keep at it. You might want to talk to colleagues at work about the possibility of experimenting with asking more questions in meetings, or simply in general. Make a note of your experiences in your learning journal – you will appreciate recording these thoughts, as they will provide you with a valuable record of your progress that you can revisit in the future.