Recently, when I was reading A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger, I came across the story of Deborah Meier. Meier was involved in education reform in New York during the second half of the 20th Century.
In his book, Berger quotes three questions that Meier posed about education:
“Is a test-driven education the most likely path for producing an inventive and feisty citizenry?”
“What would it look and sound like in the average classroom if we wanted to make ‘being wrong’ less threatening?”
“What might the potential for humans be if we really encouraged that spirit of questioning in children, instead of closing it down?”
I want to draw your attention to the second and third questions. Change the context. Assume we are now at work and not at school. How do those questions look now?
- What would it look and sound like in the average workplace if we wanted to make ‘being wrong’ less threatening?
- What might the potential for humans be if we really encouraged that spirit of questioning in our employees, instead of closing it down?
Think about the power of those questions. We don’t need to have answers for them right now. Those questions, I suspect, have you thinking about, “What if …?”
This is the power of well crafted questions. They get us thinking differently. And they open our minds to seeing opportunities to find answers as they emerge.
We don’t need to look for answers. We need to ask the right questions.
I have written before about why questions are not encouraged by some in positions of authority. You can read those thoughts here.