If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes. Albert Einstein
Asking quality questions takes practice.
It is a learned skill that takes effort. To get really good at it requires intellectual humility and curiosity.
Warren Berger’s book, A Book of Beautiful Questions is a handbook of quality, open-ended questions. Berger states, “I am suggesting that we must figure out our own solutions and answers to the complex, individualized challenges we face, in work and in our personal lives. And that we have at our disposal a natural tool to help us think and “hack” our way to more successful outcomes. That tool is the humble question.” He goes on to say that, that the best leaders are those with the confidence and humility to ask the ambitious, unexpected questions that no one else is asking.
In your quest for better leadership try this set of questions to start your week. Berger labels these as “all purpose” questions.
- How can I see this with fresh eyes?
- What might I be assuming?
- Am I rushing to judgment?
- What am I missing?
Or how about these for overcoming confirmation bias…
- Why do I believe what I believe?
- What am I inclined to believe about this situation?
- What if the opposite were true?
- What did I once believe that is no longer true?