When we are children we ask tens of thousands of questions. We ask for facts initially…e.g…what is this? As we grow older we start to ask why? We ask why and why and why incessantly as children. Parents get driven mad by their children’s continual search for explanations about everything.
When we get older we start stopping to ask questions. Culturally we are expected to know. Not knowing is seen as being at fault. However, the knowledge available is growing far faster than any of us can keep up with and so, as a percentage of the knowledge we could know, we know less and less every day.
All innovations and inventions start with a question…
- What would we create if we had a blank page?
- Where would we look if we had lost our way?
- How might we include fully all our stakeholders?
We must start and foster a culture of permanent questioning.
Companies grow by questions…where should we be going?..what areas do we need to innovate?..why are we not expanding in Europe? It is the job of the business leader to grow the business. It is the job of the business leader to ask questions. How can I help my team to grow? Where should we be concentrating?
Why is it then that we expect our business leaders to have all the answers. As a leader of people in whatever walk of life your job is to question your team’s answers and not answer their questions.
How present are you with your people? Are they a distraction? Is answering their questions the quick and easy way out? How will they allow you to grow if you don’t allow them to grow?
Creating great questions requires us to be great listeners. How well do you really listen? What if you could only ask a question based on the last sentence of the person in your conversation? What would have heard? How clear would the conversation become?
So ask more questions..and question more answers.
Learn how to ask better questions. Talk to me…why not?