The power of Questions

Ask more questions
Without questions there can be no answers. Yet we're often reluctant to ask questions because answering, or the answers, can be scary.

As the regular reader of my blog may have observed, I’m keen on questions.

I’m also as scared of a hard question as anyone too, whilst mindful of an old proverb,

“Better to ask a question than to remain ignorant.”

What’s worse ignorance or a scary answer? For those that want to get better at their work, make change happen or uncover new and helpful insights, ignorance is not an option.

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” Shannon L. Alder

A good question should be generous. It is not asked with the intent of inferring negative connotations. It is asked with the intent of propelling. Propelling conversations, understanding, insight, or uncovering something that had not yet been seen.

Better questions should generate better answers. With better answers better outcomes should be possible.

Questions come from curiosity. I’m a big fan of curiosity. It’s The Secret to Understanding

“Everything we know has its origins in questions. Questions, we might say, are the principal intellectual instruments available to human beings.” Neil Postman

A good place to start when asking questions of yourself, your work or a project is these four questions I asked as part of How to [Re]Start Architectural Practice.

What’s working?
What’s not working?
What could be better?
What’s the overall feeling?

Whilst they might be a good place to start, giving insight into what to do to do better, they may not be the hard propelling questions you need.

There’s one hard question that I always ask myself.

What’s the hard part?

The answer to this question, has the greatest power to have the biggest impact on my work. It identifies the work I need to do first. I need to do it first because it might be the thing that’s holding me back and will unlock success. It might be the thing that I’m wasting time avoiding. Addressing the answer can set me up for success. That’s a powerful question.


Image by NOHK on Pexels

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