Friday, January 20th, 2017
Asking meaningful questions is an art. Your question becomes the canvas and the people around you become the artists. They fill in the blank white space. They create the perspectives, lines, shadows and coloring.
“We thought we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” — Bono.
In meaningful questioning, the others you involve become the artists. Not you! You give that up. You provide the canvas for their thought to be expressed. In the act of asking meaningful questions, we step back so others can step up and think things through for themselves.
The art of questioning enables dynamic and critical think-through. Finding relevant questions uncovers and reveals richer, more relevant answers. Real leaders don’t ask leading questions. They ask questions that enable others to lead themselves and to develop their own critical thinking process, practice and skills.
“It’s not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” — Albert Einstein
Business cultures should not operate like elementary schools. Young kids are rewarded by fast hand raising and right answers. Dynamic business cultures reward penetrating insight and reflective business critical approaches.
Dynamic working cultures create conditions where questions have equal or greater value than answers.
Creating beautiful questions takes time. In the end, though the answers that come from beautiful questions can save a lot of time. Creating fine art also takes time. Art excites. Inspires. Lifts us up into our imagination. Reveals the thrill of discovery. Takes us beyond what is, into what can be. Art redefines how we see, what we see and who we are as the seer who is seeing.
Summing-up: Right questioning introduces imagination and possibility. Right questioning is inviting. It invites us into new ways of approaching work, working with others and the different ways they think and process information. “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” — Voltaire