Cultivate Questions or fail. In contemporary world with overflow of information and huge speed of change, questions are mandatory. Whether you are in education, business or just enjoying life, questions improve your success and well being. Since the days of Socrates, we’ve known that the best way to learn about the world is to question it. So whether you’re teaching a standard lesson, leading a field trip, or watching a film or performance with educational content, encourage your students to ask any questions that come to mind in the process. Then follow those questions up with additional questions, getting your students to think critically about the topic. For businesses questions are needed for improving productivity and customer service. For those enjoying life, questions are the way to take care of your brain!
You need to cultivate the right kind of questions. This means, that you use questions which ignite new thinking processes. To illustrate this process, imagine that you’re watching the film The Wizard of Oz as part of a history lesson. One of your students might ask, “Why does the movie start out in black and white, then change to colour, then go back to black and white?” In response, you can say, “That’s a really good question; why do you think that is?” You can then use additional questions to guide the student to the right answer. Consider asking, “Have you seen any other movies that are black and white? How old are those movies?” If any other students think they know the answer, invite them to tell the class. Together, the students have a good chance of figuring it out for themselves. The same works in businesses. Ask questions like ”how do you think this could be done better?” / ”what is the lesson we learn from this?” / ”what is the root cause of this?”. Questions that improve your brain health are the same, they get you to expand your comfort zone by getting you to see things from new perspectives.
Questioning method accomplishes two things. First, it helps people to realize the complexity of the world, and how different types of knowledge are connected to each other. It shows them that a seemingly simple question can open up all sorts of new knowledge for them to learn. As a result, people will start asking more questions about everything they do, expanding their opportunities to learn. Questions build up a culture, which takes the person and the organisation to a higher level and well being!
You need to accept, that you will get questions too! As people learn to explore, they want to learn how others have explored the matter in hand! It might feel easier not to be questioned. But that means, that those who are questioned, learn more and faster. To put this in simple words, you both are driving a car, they have all 6 gears, you can only use the 1st gear.
Mastering questioning is something we all can do. We all can also learn to be better in that. You can use the help of a coach, you can take coaching way of working course, of you can take an online course (like ours) for this. The principle is easy, then you need to practice. You will see the benefits in a couple of weeks! Start now and join the world of more successful and happy people!
Your partner in making change happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor