Invite People to Think

Googling a question may be the quickest way to get an answer, but is it the best way?

If you want to explore a topic, google can help.  If you enter the correct words you can review hundreds or thousands of possibly relevant hits.

But, exploring a challenge with people, even if you don’t use the correct words, can enhance everyone’s knowledge, inspire ideas, open up new opportunities and invite others to support the effort.

Open ended questions help you explore. What, why, how, or tell me about questions invite people to think, to share their insights and expertise, and generate fresh ideas and solutions.  Consider these:

  • What do we know about …?
  • How could we…?
  • Why does this need to work?

Asking closed questions – is, are, will, would, or should questions – generally results in a yes or no response encouraging little or no discussion.

  • Is there a market for this product? (versus What do we know about the potential market?)
  • Are you pleased with the membership drive results so far? (Versus Why do you think the membership drive generated the initial results?)

By asking questions you can encourage an environment that engages people, inspires them to think and encourages them to share their ideas. Isn’t this the kind of place you want to work?

“When faced with a challenge, get smarter.” ~Ed Catmull, Creativity Inc.

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