Author and host of Dave’s video channel, Ken Coleman, spoke to our team a while back with a simple, but powerful message.
He spoke on the many benefits of asking questions.
He tied it back to Scripture, showing how Jesus often asked questions in his ministry on this earth. He talked about leadership and pointed out that leaders solve problems by asking questions. And he talked about how we engage and relate to our families, friends and coworkers by asking questions.
Ken also cited how young children often have hundreds of questions every day but research shows that by the eighth grade, those same children ask only two questions per day on average.
What causes this shift?
Are we conditioned by eighth grade to answer more, instead of ask more? Do we think we just aren’t “good” at asking questions? Is it that we don’t think the other person cares?
This was interesting to me because when we don’t ask questions, it conveys either arrogance (we already know all of the answers) or disinterest (we don’t care enough to ask further.)
Neither of those are positive qualities about you.
But the opposite is also true.
When we ask more questions, it communicates humility and interest—both of which are positive qualities about you.
I’ve noticed this consistently in my coaching sessions and every day conversations as well. Often the best reactions I get from people where they say things like:
“Wow, that was such a great conversation.”
“Wow, you really know exactly what to say.”
“Wow, I really love talking to you.”
And those are conversations where I just asked questions.
You can have an entire conversation with someone where you only ask questions, and the other person will walk away feeling great about themselves and about you.
Knowing this, it seems like we would all want to do a better job of asking more questions of everyone in our lives.
- So let’s ask our family how they are doing, what they are excited about this year and what they are working on.
- Let’s ask our friends what’s new in their lives, how their holidays were and what their goals are for the year.
- Let’s ask our teams and leaders what they’re looking forward to, how their families are doing and what projects they are proud of.
When we take time to ask questions—and actually listen to the answers—we demonstrate humility and genuine interest, as well as improve our relationships in the process.