FOUR minutes = a FULL Day
“Or, as Google’s David Peterson suggests, find just a few moments during your daily commute to think about questions – perhaps more immediate ones, involving the challenges of the day.
A few minutes may not seem like much, but it adds up. My fellow questionologist Hal Gregersen of the MIT Leadership Center has pointed out that if each of us devotes just four minutes a day to thinking of questions to ask ourselves, it add up to twenty-four hours – or a full day’s worth of questioning – over the course of a year.”
For the past four months at the start of every work day I’ve spent four minutes strengthening my ‘questioning muscle’.
The pay off?
I attribute – coming up with a new tag line for my business and the idea producing a video clip of ‘How to speak while wearing a mask’ video clip – to these four minute, question writing sessions.
As you may know people will make
judgements about you on the quality of your questions
not your answers. And everyone, no matter the level of their seniority, can improve the questions they ask.
Here are beginning steps suggested in the book for the Exercise: The Question Formulation Technique.
- Think of a “Question Focus”. Come up with a premise or statement in two or three words for generating questions. (eg. Technological change” or Encouraging curiosity”). Don’t use a question as a starting point as it’s easier to form questions around a statement or phrase.
- Produce questions. Within a time limit (try ten minutes) aim to generate and write down as many questions pertaining to the QFocus.
- Improve your questions. Begin to work on the questions you’ve written down. Open the closed questions and close the open ones. Is a balanced life desirable? might be changed to Why is a balanced life desirable?
Own the Conversation
Here’s what I recommend:
- At the start of your day for the next seven work days, spend four minutes just writing questions on focal point.
After the seven days reflection on the value of doing this 28 minutes of strengthening your questioning muscle. If your reflection is positive consider embedding the first four minutes a day.
- Do the beginning steps of the The Questioning Formulation Technique.
p.s. Do you have an End of Year presentation to deliver? If you do here’s a post that might interest titled: Strategy ideas for your end of year presentation