My partner Lori is a saint, natch. Though she has every right to do so, daily, she rarely complains. Woe be hers, rarely. However, when she does, I ALWAYS have an answer at hand.
Isn’t she the lucky one?!
In recent times, lifelong learner that I am, I have tried to bite my tongue. When someone is offloading, they rarely need or want the answer. They want someone to listen, to comfort, to ask a good clarifying question. Not my number one strength.
As a worker and colleague, same goes. Answers are easy. Everyone has an answer.
But who has a great question, one that unlocks the emergent learning, one that create a collective intake of breath, one that releases the tension, one that brings others inside the big tent?
Don’t agree on the import of asking > Answering? Take it from these great and good, then:
In Framers and Polishers, Seth Godin describes how “the framer asks the original question…”:
Framing is fraught with risk and thus avoided by many. Too often, we spend our time on a little more polish, instead of investing in the breakthrough that a framer can bring.
“Questions draw us together. Answers push us apart.” – Peter Block
— John Hagel (@jhagel) February 21, 2014
Hagel extrapolates in this Deloitte piece
“In the big shift, the method of influence is no longer about the answers, it’s about the questions. Are you raising questions that nobody’s thought about before that can have a huge impact on outcomes?”
Meanwhile, genius Kevin Kelly has a similar outlook:
“Machines are for (cheap) answers; humans are for questions. Having great Qs will be where all the value is.” KK http://t.co/7WtXhqNeYR
— Jonathan Anthony (@ThisMuchWeKnow) February 16, 2014
It behooves us to be
There is much work to do…
←This Much We Know.→