The art of questioning

International seminar led by Kristof Van Rossem


A question seems to be a trivial everyday phenomenon: Where is the school? How late is my train? … It’s no big deal asking questions. But asking the right question at the right time to the right person with the right words is an art:  How many friends do you need? Do you want to be helped? What is the added value of words? Asking them in a well-formulated way, accompanied by the necessary communicative skills requires a lot of exercise, a lot of feeling for the ‘kairos’, the right moment.
A question is not only a rhetorical or diplomatic instrument, it is an important dialectical instrument as well. Asking the right questions and demanding the right answers to it is a way to influence the conversation.  With a question, you can influence the thinking and the behavior of your client, partner, student in a very thorough way. During this weekend, you learn to question in a Socratic way. That means that you will be able to question (if wanted of course) every assertion your interlocutor spontaneously makes. We will concentrate especially on questioning the truth claims your interlocutor makes about himself or his/her own experience. The Socratic style enables you to enhance the knowledge of yourself so that in your turn, you can enhance self-knowledge in others.

Where and when?


Mo 10th– Wed 12th of september 2018,

‘de la Salle’ Centre, Brussels/Dilbeek

Results of the training course :

  1. You are efficient in asking your questions: you get what you want
  2. You are quick and alert in questioning
  3. You can demand accurate and precise information
  4. You are aware of the status and the value of the intervention of your interlocutors
  5. You can distinguish different types of questions and their effects
  6. You practice the Socratic questioning attitude (of not knowing)
  7. You can ask the right question with the right words at the right time to the right person
  8. You have a sense of the ‘appropriateness’ of a question or intervention
  9. You have insight into the rhetorical aspects of a question
  10. You can intensify the reflection of your client
  11. You can make your client (more) responsible for what he/she says or does
  12. You can be non-empathical when it is needed.
  13. You can be harsh with your client when it is needed

The targets and the program proposed will be adjusted to what the participants bring in.

What do participants say?

Video testimonial of Sarah Clift (Phd, South Africa)
Saskia Vandeputte
Target group


This weekend is something for you if you are:

  • Working in education
  • Working in fields of practical philosophy (philosophy with children, philosophical counseling, Socratic dialogue,…)
  • Working as a coach
  • Working as a trainer/consultant in companies
  • Working in health care
  • Working with dialogue and/or reflection in groups
  • Interested in sharpening your questioning abilities
The trainer


KristofKristof Van Rossem is Master in philosophy. He works as an independent trainer with an international experience of more than 15 years. His speciality are variations of Socratic Dialogue in different organisational settings: companies, schools, social welfare organisations, political parties, medical federations, governmental organisations etc. He published on various kinds of practical philosophy.

He is a teacher trainer at the University of Leuven (KULeuven) where he leads an annual seminar in philosophizing with children and adolescents. He teaches a.o. philosophy and (business) ethics at the Odisee University College of Brussels. He is leading an annual training course in Socratic dialogue facilitation.

Preliminary program


Monday :

10 am : Welcome : introduction + questioning exercise in getting to know each other
12.30 : lunch
14 pm : essential requirements of questioning behavior  +
the objectives of questioning behavior : exercises in efficient and effective questioning
17 pm : break + dinner
20-22 pm : creativity and alertness in questioning

Tuesday   :

8.30 : coffee, tea, breakfast
9 am : The Socratic style in questioning one person :

  • Learning when and why to interrupt in a respectful way
  • Disciplining the questioning and answering behavior
  • Exercises in the Socratic maieutic attitude
  • How to continue questioning

12.30 : lunch
13.30 : exercises in the 5 Socratic movements in questioning + exercises in logic
17.00 : break + dinner
20-22 : evening session : diplomacy and tact in questioning a person

Wednesday  :

8.30 : coffee, tea, breakfast
9 am : turns of 15 minutes of questioning in leading a group discussion
12.30 : lunch:
back to everyday life : tips and tricks about special cases in organizations
17 pm : farewell drink

Practical aspects



Monday  10/09/18 – Wednesday 12/09/18  (8 day parts – total of 22 hours)


The course takes place in the ‘de la Salle’ Centre (named after educational renewer Jean-Baptiste de la Salle 16th Century) in Dilbeek, H.Placestraat 45, 1702 Groot-Bijgaarden. It is a former monastery/castle situated in a beautiful park near a lake. This is at a walking distance from the station of Dilbeek, which is close to the station of Bruxelles-Nord. If you come from the Airport of Zaventem, go to Brussels North station (10 minutes) and then change to L-train in the direction of Aalst-Gent. Get off at Dilbeek station (15 minutes). Language of the course is English.


How much?


The  early bird price of the course is 445 €  (excl. 21% TVA)  if you register before the 1st of July 2018. After that, the price of the course is 495 € (excl. 21% TVA) The deadline for registration  is 1st of September 2018.

Included in the price are :

  1. The seminar + documentation
  2. lodging in a single or double room for 2 nights including breakfast. The accommodation is basic (there is water in every room and showers for every 3 rooms) but comfortable.
  3. 2X lunch and 2 X dinner.
  4. coffee, tea, fruit juice, water is included.

You will get an invoice after registration. The amount is to be payed on Bank account IBAN BE08 0003 2190 5513, BIC BPOTBEB1 by name of Kristof Van Rossem (Bank van de Post). If you want to pay cash, let us know.

There is a maximum of 14 participants so be fast!

Phone: +32 473 71 58 35
Kokerijstraat 90
B 9310 Meldert