Consider the Context Questionnaire

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Consider the Context Questionnaire

The context surrounding an idea is often more important than the idea itself. This quick assessment helps you pay attention to the big picture.


by Rick Maurer

Our belief about what works, what doesn’t, what can go wrong, and so forth both support and hinder our ability to influence others. Responses to these questions help create a picture of the ground you are walking on. The more you know about the history and environment the better you will be able to adhere to Principle 2: Consider the Context.

Think of one person (or one group) as you complete this assessment. It is important to consider your responses carefully.

  1. I’m most influential with X when I_____________________________
    Focus on your style, timing, etc.
  2. He/she is most influential with me when __________
  3. What are things (words, situations, etc.) that cause either of us to lose it?
  4. What is my credibility with him/her?
  5. What are the ways in which we have stayed open to each other supporting I and You relationships?
  6. In what ways do we create I/It relationship with each other? (Who do we represent to each other?) E.g. culture, race, age, etc. differences
  7. To what extent are these beliefs supported by actual data, and what responses are based on guesses and unproven assumptions?
  8. What are the implications if you can’ t answer some of the questions listed above?
    What I Know About the Environment
    What are your beliefs about:
  9. The larger stage you are playing on. What do your colleagues or constituents expect you to do?
  10. How someone in your position is seen by this person?

© 2009 Rick Maurer. Rick uses his Change without Migraine™ to advise organizations on how to lead change effectively. He is author of many books including Beyond the Wall of Resistance. Recently, he created the Change Management Open Source Project, a free resource for people interested in change in organizations.