As I write this blog, I am assuming that most people would agree that asking a great question can lead to some pretty significant answers. The issue is not whether or not we ask enough questions - the issue is are we asking the RIGHT questions. Here is a list of ideas of how we might be able to get to the right questions in our conversations:
- Believe that questions are a really good way to get at the answer to a problem - REALLY believe it!
- Check to make sure that you are not really making a statement of your own belief when you ask a question
- Don't ask questions of others to which you already know the answer you want
- Engage in asking questions that might not seem to have an answer
- Be willing to think out-loud...and allow other to do the same
- Embrace the "what if..." question
- Practice the art of dialogue - ask, listen, speak, suspend, accept, ask, listen, speak...
- Hang out with people a lot smarter than you and ask them your mosts pressing questions
- Don't stop exploring the question until you believe you have the right question - and then ask a few more
- Read great literature (because great literature deals with the big questions of life)
- Read in areas of which you know very little (because you will come away with many more questions)
- Don't be afraid to ask questions when you don't know something (remember the adage "there is no such thing as a dumb question")
- Go ahead and answer a question with a question (and get ready to duck)
Two books to recommend on this subject: