Questions always give birth to answers.. Seems pretty straightforward. We do this every day of our lives. With a great deal of efficiency. We ask when we don’t know something. How could there be any difficulty with a question?
“Why ask this question” begins to focus our attention on the difficulty. Too many times I see people ask questions to tear down a person’s thinking or decision. As a Trojan horse, their question disguises itself in curiousity, with their intent being far different. While questions do elicit new information for the questioner, it is the conversation that follows that exposes the difficutly.
Too many times we ask questions to prove ourselves right rather than to learn more about something without passing judgment. Our question acts like a prompt. The answer then directs us to a part of our current belief which we will use as our next main talking point. Disregarding any merit the answer we just heard might have for what is different from what we believe.
As the conversation unfolds, there is a feeling that one or more questions were asked with the intent to “make a point” rather than “teach me or help me better understand or learn”. With the former, there is no listening. Strange, because asking thoughtful questions supposedly leads to more active listening by demonstrating our engagement and desire for connection with others. In this case, they never do. Leaving the questioner energized and the responder discouraged.
Questions that explore can be quite powerful. Where there is an honest exchange of different thoughts leading to a unique, new point of view than either person had when they started their conversation. An understanding born by a conversation filled with questions. One that may have been missed if the conversation and exploration never occurred. Leading to an excitement and new energy for both parties involved.
Never miss an opportunity to explore first. Your conversations will become more thoughtful making your human connection with others more honest and intense. Leading each in the conversation to make the world a little bit better through their new understandings and subsequent adjustments. Important to do as we navigate the challenges of life.