Create QUESTIONS to enliven your CURIOUSITY
If you want to get more out of what you hear or see, FORCE YOURSELF to ask questions.
People who ask lots of probing questions outperform those who don’t engage with ideas. Constantly generate questions and then ask them – that mind-set will lead to a richer appreciation of issues.
This quote is from the book mentioned in last week’s post, 5 Elements of effective thinking
Here are selected ideas from the book
(some adapted to the business environment) that stood out for me under the title ‘Creating questions enlivens your curiosity.
-If you are a manager, instead of asking “Are there any questions?” assume there are, and say, “Talk to your neighbour for sixty seconds and write down two questions. That is, instead of asking whether there are questions, tell your listeners that they are to create questions –
an important habit to develop for lifelong learning and curiosity.
-Put yourself in the place of senior executives and ask yourself, ‘What questions would these senior execs ask me in order to determine whether I’m across my remit?’
-Be thought provoking. Listening is not enough. If you are constantly engaged in asking yourself questions about what you’re hearing. you will find that even boring presentations become a bit more interested. For example, ‘What is the main reason for this speaker being boring – is it his body language, voice, lack of structure etc?’
-Be/Assign an official questioner. I’m trialling in my group workshops a volunteer to pose at least one question during a segment of the workshop. This assignment will contribute to a better experience for the volunteer and contribute to a better experience for everyone.
-Improve your questions. Pose questions that expose hidden assumptions, clarify issues and lead to action. Rather than ask, How can I land a promotion? ask How can I better understand what’s required in the promotion role? or How can I increase my curiosity about the role?
-Assume there is a mistake in your presentation.
The question to ask might be ‘Where is a mistake in my presentation?. That question will force you to deepen your understanding of the presentation as you scour it for a mistake.
Own the Conversation
In the next seven days, choose one of the above ideas to implement.
- Assign an official questioner in a meeting.
- Pose a question a senior might ask you to judge if you’re across your remit.
- Identify a mistake in your presentation.
p.s Here’s a post on What is a schema and why top performers use them