Questions are a great medium of learning. Great students love and understand the importance of questions. Leaders who do not have appreciation for questions, especially directed at them miss out on opportunities to communicate values and vision to their team.
The mark of great students and leaders is not only being able to answer questions well, but also being able to ask great questions.
How to ask great questions:
Boring interviews, classes or mentoring is often the result of boring questions. In order to take your learning or research to empowering levels never ask “off-the-top-of-your-head” questions. These questions are a little short of an insult.
Off-the-top-of-your-head questions normally get off-the-top-of-the-head answers. The answers are often obvious.
To make the most of time with your mentor, speaker or your team ask well thought out questions.
questions, like any tools must be used effectively for greater results
|| image by Clarkston SCAMP | cc
Equipping questions are ones that even when you think about them, cannot easily formulate an answer for them. Challenging questions create great opportunities for new information that can grow you tremendously.
If you know the agenda of a meeting you will be attending, think about the questions you are going to ask before the meeting. Consider how empowering they could be.
Prepare for attending a conference. Think about what it is about and what you want to learn from it. Remind yourself before each session. This will help you listen and engage with a critical ear, helping you to ask non-typical questions.
Great thinkers ask great questions, that cause great learning.
Be a little more daring in asking questions. Interviews and meetings can easily be a boring and unhelpful because everyone wants to ask panels or other people in the meetings that keep people as comfortable as possible.
Don’t just ask questions to rile people or for controversy’s sake, but don’t be afraid to ask daring questions. Never be afraid to challenge speakers on their talks or subjects. Don’t be rude but ask the questions everyone has on their minds but is too scared to ask.
Fear of asking what is really on your mind will stand in the way of growth.
Any great facilitator, speaker, teacher or leader is hungry for deep engaging questions, and these questions do not come up when you’re too afraid to ask.
Ask anyway even if you have to ask with sweaty palms and a quivering voice. Remember the goal is to learn and help those you’re with to learn and grow as well.
Never allow difference of opinion or perspective get in the way of a great question and learning. Fear stops you from engaging those who think differently. Let your learning and cause be more important the being comfortable. Be on the edge if you have to…
Any question that doesn’t help you grow is not worth asking. Rock the boat if it is means greater growth.