Questions Enlighten More Than The Answers
September 8, 2021
Whatever the situation may be, one thing I do is ask a lot of questions. Questions make a conversation meaningful and create possibilities. A thoughtfully worded question can open up an entire conversation.
My kids often come to me asking for advice or help when they encounter something that makes them uncomfortable or uncertain. Instead of giving out a solution or an answer to the predicament they are going through, I ask them questions on the rebound. Why do you feel the way you are feeling. If you had to deal with this yourself, what would you do? Or, if you had to write this differently, how would you approach it?
They complain that I complicate matters unnecessarily. But I don’t cut back. Their discomfort is because my questions force them to reflect and seek out the answers on their own when they look to the easy option of outsourcing the difficult task of thinking to me.
The ability to ask questions is an important skill, particularly if you are in a work setting. I see two essential benefits in developing this skill.
- Asking questions is a powerful self-management tool that allows you to focus on the big picture and enhances your effectiveness at whatever you do. When you ask questions, you’re not rushing in to provide the answer, give the solution, or take on the challenge. Questions help you seek out the Why in anything.
- Questions help clarify your own thinking as well as that of those around you. When you ask open-ended questions, it forces you and others to reflect on their assumptions and consider alternatives.
There is no doubt that questions are more important than the answers. Someone wise said this- It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.