2. Fosters humility
We often feel the need to know everything (which is silly and another rant for another time), and asking questions remind us that we can’t and don’t have all the answers. It acknowledges our need for people and things outside of ourselves, which incidentally, is really helpful at keeping our pride in check.
3. Creates space for vulnerability, trust, and intimacy to form
People are open to people who are open to them. It’s amazing the relationships and opportunities that are birthed by curiosity or a well-timed question. We all appreciate the opportunity to explain ourselves and take ownership of our responses. Asking questions (as opposed to speaking in the declarative all of the time) often lowers defenses and increases our receptivity to what another person is trying to communicate.
4. Challenges mindsets and ruts
A dear friend once said, “it’s a spiritual discipline to break your routine.” I think about that a lot in a number of different contexts. In this particular one, I’d simply say that asking questions breaks us out of our routines, out of our box. This is a very, very good thing. We can all think of a time when we were challenged, for better or for worse, by having to answer the question “why?” for doing something the way we do.
5. Produces good leaders
Your effectiveness as a leader (and maybe more broadly, as a human being?) is correlative to your desire and discipline to learn. Whether this is in personal relationships, or developing new skills at work, or picking up a new hobby at home, asking questions is a great way to learn and an easy place to start. Additionally, asking questions is a great way to help develop leaders around you!
6. Keeps us open to wonder & gratitude
This is more abstract, but just as important. Asking questions keeps our eyes open to new ideas, to see beauty in the world, to dream new dreams, to recognize the gifts around us, and to be grateful for it all.
Are you seeing all the potential & possibilities wrapped up in questions?
I know none of this is novel or earth shattering, but hopefully it’s a good reminder of how we can communicate, and lead, and love one another really well.
Start with a question and see where it takes you.