Questions & Answers
What’s more important, questions or answers?
Ultimately, the underlying reason for asking a question, is to seek an answer …to gather more information, to find a solution to a problem, to gain greater understanding, to clarify a situation, to discover new opportunities.
However, what often gets missed, is that the quality of the answer, is totally dependent on the quality of the question.
In my experience, people are often too quick to focus on possible answers, rather than more importantly, taking the necessary time to frame the question.
Albert Einstein sums it up best;
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
He also said;
“Don’t listen to the person who has the answers; listen to the person who has the questions.”
As a Business Coach, I know my most important responsibility to clients is to frame and ask the right questions which assists them in determining their best answers. Coaching in its purest form, is NOT about providing answers, it’s about asking questions … the right questions, at the right time, in the right way.
So, what are the characteristics of a great question?
Questions are more powerful when they are clear and concise, stated in easily understandable language, and are one dimensional. Its far better to ask two separate questions, than endeavor to address multiple issues in a single question.
Questions also need to guide rather than lead … doing so gives you the best chance of stimulating new thinking and creative ideas which often lead to previously undiscovered answers and new solutions.
“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Anthony Robbins.
Without great questions, you will never find great answers. Framing the right question gives you the best chance of finding the right answer.