The older I get the more I value quality questions over right answers.
Some of the smartest, most successful people I know are not know-it-alls who flaunt their knowledge. Instead, they are are wise men and women who have mastered the art of asking quality questions.
Someone will come to them for advice and instead of telling them what to do they will ask thought provoking questions that help facilitate an effective thought process. This is a hallmark of great mentors, coaches and teachers.
You will also see this trait in seasoned salespeople. Instead of blabbing about all the great features of their product they will focus on the prospect and ask great open-ended questions.
Pastors and spiritual leaders do the same. They understand it’s more important to teach you how to think versus what to think.
Think of the people you respect and admire. Notice how good they are at asking the right questions at the right time?
When you see it in action it’s attractive. It makes you want to master the art of asking great questions. If that’s what you want here are some ways you can practice this:
1. Become a great listener: If you want to be a great question asker then you must be a great listener. If you’re used to thinking you’re the smartest person in the room and have all the answers then you won’t be good at asking questions.
2. Journal (practice on yourself): Journaling is a great place for you to start reflecting on your own life and asking yourself the hard questions. Pay attention to the types of questions that generate the best results and insights.
3. Memorize great questions: The next time you witness someone asking someone else a great question, write it down. Or if someone asks you a question that really gets you thinking then record it. Commit these to memory.
4. Take time to think: It’s tempting to always be consuming content like books, blogs, podcasts, or videos. But if you want to get better at asking questions you have to develop your critical thinking skills. So take time to think.
5. Be humble: Pride will stop you from asking questions because it will make you think you have all the answers. Have the humility to admit to others, and to yourself, that you don’t know. This will naturally lead you to ask more questions.
What do you think about those questions? Do you have any to add to that list?