The Power of Asking Questions: 7 Ways Questions are More Powerful Than Answers
- January 2021
- 2 minutes
Asking Builds Our Knowledge
It may seem like the best leaders are supposed to have all the answers. That may prevent us from asking the questions we should.
In asking questions, we learn.
Asking Teaches Us About People
By asking others and as they answer our questions we are learning more about that person. It gives us an indication of how much they know, how well they can express themselves.
In asking questions we learn about others.
We are all eager to be able to answer questions- when we get a set of different brains working to find answers the results will be far better than if you rely only on your brain.
In asking questions we engage the minds of others.
Asking Communicates Value
By asking for input from others we are telling them what they say is important to us. By asking for output we are saying that they are important. In asking questions -all of us matter.
We prefer to respond when others ask, but in that sense, they set the focus of the conversation and control the thought. The reverse becomes real as we ask the questions-they tell us.
A good question can be all it takes if we want to drive focus and thinking in one direction or another.
We lead the thinking by posing questions.
Asking Sets an Example
When asking questions, we build an atmosphere where it’s OK to learn about what’s going on, look for new ways to do things, and inquire “the way we’ve always done it.” And that’s a safe place to be.
In asking questions, it is OK to ask any questions.
It leads to big ideas. One of the best ways to mentor others is to ask good questions. We can give someone our best advice, but helpful insights will be much more powerful if our teammates come to the conclusion on their own, guided by the questions we ask.
In asking questions, we help others become better.
In the rush to answer questions, we risk missing the opportunity to ask them. We may miss the chance to learn. Beyond that, we risk losing an opportunity to lead.