I was thinking yesterday about an exercise that I was given one time to spend one day asking questions only (and not giving advice or any answers). I have to say that it was one of the most challenging activities I have been given. As a leadership consultant, I make a living by asking questions but when asked to live a day by only asking questions and being genuinely curious, this seemed to be a lot harder than I had thought it would be.
After one day of this activity, I realized how much I was missing out on. By not asking questions, I was missing some very important information from my family, friends and colleagues. The dialogue was so much richer and deeper through my curiosity.
In my work with leaders, I cannot help but notice that many don’t ask questions…they give advice and answers. Curiosity seems to be a leadership skill which is often forgotten (or it has never been considered by many to be a leadership skill in the first place), so it has me wondering “Why”?
As you read this blog entry, consider this question “What is it that causes you to want to give answers and advice and not ask questions?” and “How would your life as a leader be different if you invested 75% of your time asking questions and 25% of your time giving answers?” Send me a comment and let me know your thoughts.