Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right question
We have previously learned in Power of Questions? Part 1 why it’s so important to start asking questions to yourself. Question yourself first and then start adding value to your life and other people life. Hopefully after reading this article you will jump with me on this one-day challenge. I am not asking for much. One day. One question. That’s it.
During the curse of our life we face a lot of problems, do you agree? Some people say that there are no problems only opportunities. Of course there are lessons to be learned in every problem, opportunity or failure but we still have to deal with them. There is a great technique to revel the roots of our problem, including inaction. It is the method of 5 Whys. It is a simple interrogative technique to explore the case, that was developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used at first by Toyota Corporation. The method simply comes to asking the question Why? As many times as it takes to raise emotions. In most cases after the 5th Why? you will discover the root cause of the problem. Besides releveling the nature of the case usually the solution will become clear. As I said the idea of this technique is very simple but getting it right is not so easy. You might think it is just asking few question, how hard it could be?
Requests for information
Well, this may come as a surprise for you, but as it turns out it’s problematic because we don’t really know how to ask questions. We ask questions without even thinking about them. How was school? How was work? Did you like it? Are we really looking for answers or are we just subconsciously feel obligated to ask them? First thing is that we are not really sure what information we want to get by asking those question? Questions are simply requests for information but we tend to forget about it. If we get to the third question, and most people stop at two, it has nothing to do at all with the first on. Even if we know what information we are looking for, we give up on this quest surprisingly easily. What you need to do to identify the roots of your inactions, is to practice asking questions based on the 5 Whys model.
Those very simple and basic things will allow you to add a great amount of value to your life. If you’re asking yourself better and more specific questions you are going to discover greater capabilities within yourself. There is a lot in you that you don’t know yet. Don’t you want to uncover that?
It will also allow you to influence others in a far greater way. I’m not talking about manipulating. I’m talking about helping, leading, motivating and inspiring. Once you are able to help others and ask them better questions, then you are going to be the person everyone always wants at the meeting. You are going to be the person everyone always wants to ask questions. You are going to become the influencer in the group because you’re helping people think of the things they wouldn’t usually do. If you will become that go to person, all the big ideas they have, they are going to want to bounce against you. Benefit from that and let others inspire you on your Journey.
What do you want?
From being miserable at work, to loving it. Being successful means to me to be able to respond and actually anticipate the invitation of an upcoming opportunity. It is always an opportunity to grow, to develop, to become and to progress. But the biggest, the most fulfilling of all successes is making your life what you want it to be. Now the big question is What do you want from life? What do you really want?
We have much more powerful capabilities than most of us think that we have. By asking the right questions you can control your fear. You can get your priories in line and understand what is going on. Questions build your vision, your dreams and your Journey. Don’t go for the first answers. Dig deeper. Go further. Don’t be ashamed to ask 5 follow up questions. Get into the core of the case or a problem. The more you understand something, the more confidence you have in that area. Ignorance and unawareness won’t get you anywhere. Ask more and better questions, learn more about your colleagues, your friends, your business partners, your employees and understand them better. In work and business environment we actually know very little about each other. By asking those question you will get a great connection point, a great start to your next small talk. You will get them more comfortable and get yourself a very powerful leverage of knowledge, trust and personal bond. Our life is long game but not all of us are playing a long game. Treat those question as investment and don’t expect a quick payback. Payback will come but you have to be patient.
Now I dare you to ask one extra question to each person you interact with at work. One question. Tomorrow. It could be interactions by the coffee machine, at the meeting, training session, by your desk, wherever. Make this question a little bit private. Don’t ask about weather. Make it positive and light. If you are asking How was your weekend? Try to go a little bit deeper. Look for good in others. Be creative. Be playful. Ask this one question, enrich your everyday interaction and relationship. One question. How hard it can be?
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