I am not implying ‘Yoga’ stretches here. This post is more around a certain type of questioning methodology – called the ‘Stretch’ question.
A ‘Stretch’ question is a think outside-the-box type of question which will force your respondents to not come back with a certain pattern of answers and be creative in their responses.
Instead of asking “How do we reach more customers in the next year?” , you can ask time boxed, challenging target based questions , like “How do we reach 2 times more customer in the next 2 months?”
The question so clearly breaks the existing thinking pattern that you are forced to think in out-of-the-box ways.
A usual defensive answer is – ‘That is impossible’ and your response should be – ‘If we had infinite resources, wouldn’t this be possible ?’. This would start opening up a conversation where the chains to preconceived limitations are broken.
So, how often do you stretch ?
About the author: Anup Surendran is the product manager for Micropoll. He has consulted for various technology startups in his career servicing Fortune 50 companies. He works out of Toronto, Canada and blogs frequently on his personal blog.