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Transition questions are highly effective because you cannot develop a plan, any plan, such as a marketing plan, by asking “What is the marketing plan?” The question is so broad as to be DUMB.

How to Be Precise with Three Transition Questions: Do NOT Ask “How Do You Solve Global Hunger?”

Three Transition Questions for Clarity and Precision

It’s not easy for participants to respond to broad questions like “How do you solve global hunger?”  While appropriate, the question’s scope is too broad (and perhaps vague) to stimulate specific, actionable responses like “We could convert those abandoned mine shafts in Somalia and create food storage areas.”

Three Appropriate Yet Powerful Transition Questions

Extemporaneous leaders should develop a tendency to modify three core transition questions during meetings instead of asking broad questions like, “Are we OK with this list?” or, “Can we move on?”.   Consider using more structure and precision by relying on transition questions with these three simple, pertinent, and clear questions that can be modified to your own situation:

  • Do we need to clarify anything (eg, on this list)? (First test for clarity and shared understanding only, not necessarily agreement).
  • Do we need to delete anything (eg, from this list)? (Next test for appropriateness, relevancy, and potential redundancy).
  • Do we need to add anything (eg, to this list)? (Finally, scrub for omissions or something significant that needs to be considered in addition to what has been already captured).

The three detailed transition questions make it easier for meeting participants to analyze, agree, and move on. After participants have agreed they understand, have been provided an opportunity to remove something they cannot support, and have been challenged to add something they may have missed, you are prepared to properly transition.

The clarity and precision of the three transition questions demands more rigorous thinking and encourages the focus most people need to apply thorough analysis. Make it easier for your participants, avoid the the vague, extemporaneous questions that results in the worst deliverable you could ever develop in a meeting—another meeting.


Finally, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on providing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices methodology and tools before class concludes. Additionally, some call this immersion. However, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills

Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Training provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation. Therefore, our training aligns with IAF Certification Principles and fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.

Furthermore, our Professional Facilitation curriculum immerses students in the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Because nobody is smarter than everybody, attend an MG RUSH  Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world, see MG RUSH  for a current schedule.

Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access our in-house resources. You will discover numerous annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. Finally, take a few seconds to buy us a cup of coffee and please SHARE.

In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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