Most of the time we are looking for answers: What is the solution? What should I do? How can I get there? And it has to be fast! It is all well and good if we know the answers, yet often not so welcome when we open to doubt and further questioning. Sometimes we even see this as slowing down the process unnecessarily. Even in our personal lives, a need for control will close down a search for solutions very quickly. Having a loose end for too long makes us uncomfortable. It is almost as if we lack trust in ourselves, each other and the processes we are in.
But closing down quickly and rewarding mainly knowing instead of being curious and wondering will often leave us with the same result, which is perhaps one reason that so many companies are challenged by innovation. We are too often in search of answers and fast actions instead of opening to a valuable ambiguity.
If we want to keep evolving and finding new and better ways of doing things we need to start focusing on helping each other with asking the good questions instead of finding the right answers.
In leadership we all know that it is more efficient to get people within our organization to work for us by asking them the questions instead of providing the solutions. But this actually applies to almost anything we work with unless there is an immediate crisis.
Thus we need to activate as many resources as possible by posing questions instead of limiting the influence to the people that come up with the fast answers.
Being focused on posing good questions will not only improve the quality of the work, it will also slow down the unnecessarily fast pace at which many organizations operate, a pace that is unhealthy for the people within them.
How to bring in more wondering and consciousness:
- Every time you are met by a demand from something urgent that needs a quick response, ask yourself:
- Is this really urgent?
- If not.. What is a good question I can ask to explore further?
- Start helping people around you – both privately and professionally – with the good question: What is the next good question?
It is not always popular to ask another question instead of just providing an answer but in many situations it is far more valuable.
Good luck with the questions