⇒ Always ask more questions. ⇐
That about sums it up for me and my philosophy, but let me tell you why it’s important to always ask more questions. Senior year of high school I took an AP English course where we read short stories, novels and poems. It was a class where your job as a reader is to explore the significance of the occurrences in the text and to find meaning in characters actions. On the first day of class the teacher reviewed the syllabus and then leaned against the front of his teachers desk and told us that the class would be modeled after Socratic Seminars.At that time, I hadn’t taken philosophy and didn’t know what that meant. At this time, I try to emulate the style of socratic seminars on a daily basis.
As a social researcher who finds the most valuable data in qualitative methods, most of my most valuable data comes from asking questions. When you’re interviewing someone you get data you didn’t even know you were looking for when you ask follow up questions. When your interviewee says “you know?” at the end of their answer, take that and find out if you actually do know. paraphrase their statement back to them and use that opportunity to dive further into their perspective.