I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately.
Having recently moved to a new city, a new church, starting a new job and meeting a lot of new people, questions are becoming somewhat of a constant companion.
As a result I’m realising the importance of questions. The right questions seem to have a power that I have failed to realise until recently.
Whether it is asking the right question that helps you understand the other person’s point of view or motive. It’s a question that leads to unprecedented insight.
Whether it is asking a question that helps you realise something game changing about your job.
“Is there where I am supposed to be”, “Is that necessary for us to do!”. It’s a question that leads to new ways of doing your job.
However, as I have pondered the importance of questions, I have begun to see that the right questions are more valuable than the right answers.
My desire is that, as you reflect on my words, you will develop your own understanding of the incredible value questions have and the important role they have to play in our growth, personally, relationally and professional.
I don’t know if you have ever found yourself in a situation like this, but you notice that one of your work colleagues has seemed a bit off. Out of a sincere concern, you ask a co worker something like this “Hey, I noticed Bob hasn’t been doing too well since his break up, do you think there is something we can do?”
Only to receive an insincere answer like this.
“Yeah, he has been doing it tough, I think we just give him time.”
Answers like this are designed to shut down the conversation.
This shows us the first reason why questions are so powerful.
QUESTIONS OPEN UP CONVERSATION: ANSWERS END THEM
Consider, If the other person’s response had been “Yeah, he is, I wonder what we could do? Do you have any ideas?”
The resulting conversation is likely to result in a much more productive outcome for Bob and his emotional wellbeing.
We ourselves can be guilty of this, we often miss the power and importance of a question, and miss opportunities to have productive, meaningful conversations. We must give questions the opportunity to lead us to meaningful conversations.
But it’s not the only power that questions have.
QUESTIONS OPEN UP NEW REALITIES: ANSWERS DEFINE REALITIES
Any leader will be able to attest to this, leaders face an interesting situation where we are tasked with taking people from their current reality into a future reality. Whether it be, what do we need to change? Where do we need to go? Who do we need to be? These questions transport us to this future destination and help us to look at it. To make decisions in the present that will bring about that future reality.
The question has opened up a whole new reality to be engaged with.
This power to move into a new reality is vitally important in how we move through the world whether you are a leader or not because for each of us, there are moments where a new reality saves relationships, opens opportunities at our work or just creates a greater sense of hope.
For example my Fiancé and I from time to time have arguments. I can walk away at times feeling things like that she was out to get me, that she was trying to show my weaknesses. But I have started asking myself a question anytime I see these thoughts starting to take place. That question is “Does Rachel want the worst for me, or the best for me?” This question opens up a possible new reality. It gives me the option to decide whether I think that Rachel is against me or for me. And my answer defines which reality I will live in. Thankfully it is clear in our relationship that Rachel always wants what’s best for me, so I quickly realise what reality I want to live in, and I let my answer define that. Yet it was the question that made the new reality possible.
You will see this incredible power that questions have as you make your way towards the future, but also as you make your way through the world in your relationships. Only through asking questions can you get to that new reality.
WE NEED MORE QUESTIONS, BUT WE STILL NEED ANSWERS.
The truth is that we can’t live our lives only asking questions. Questions do need answers to held define realities, end conversations and show us new knowledge. The world though, needs more of the right questions. Because questions will open up the important conversations that we need to have. Questions will open up new realities of possibility and questions will lead us to the wisdom we need to make our way forward into new and exciting futures.
In your life, seek to ask the right questions, seek out people who are going to ask you the right questions. Because questions are far more powerful than we give them credit for, the right questions are what will change our worlds and the world. For me I am committing to ask more questions, and to encourage others to ask me more questions.
Ask me a question below and let’s see where it goes!
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Thanks and keep growing!