Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Questions are the key to answers

Duh. I know. However, in today's environment, we tend to skip to the answers without asking enough questions to really dig into the problem. This is a great discussion to have in the mentoring relationship.

We attend meetings with prepared answers for questions that have not been asked. This may be good preparation but only if we still listen to the questions that also are actually asked during the discussion. Politicians answer with what they want to say vs. what was asked. This doesn't work well in problem solving or gaining approval for a new idea. 

For example, researchers say that good sleep is key to better decision-making. Terrific. Yet, getting a good night's sleep is only one factor in  being able to make good decisions. 

Once the issue of good sleep and all the questions it opens are examined, then answers can be debated and fixes prioritized.  Then, we can look at other issues affecting our decision-making (control, confidence, aptitude, etc.).  Fix is rarely as simple as the +/-140 character statement: "I'll get better sleep so I can make better decisions."

When we keep asking "why" before jumping to who/what/how, all the issues emerge. Then we can solve based on the most pressing/necessary - which is not always the order in which issues are uncovered.

We often look for shortcuts - not necessarily because of laziness but because time is so short. Plus (inner voice) does everything have to take so much effort!? Questions don't take extra effort, just extra time. 

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