Finding questions, not answers

Photo: stair hall of the Spanish Embassy at the Holy See (Rome)

In my first years of professional life I was impelled to give always answers. To provide content. To address the issues with competence. However, the more I dive in managerial roles, does not matter if related to projects, people o departments, the more questions I ask. Even if questioning could be interpreted as incompetence or mistrust; the reality is that a good question brings with it at least the half of the answer.

As a first approach, asking questions is a coaching task itself because it helps the recipients to fundament their position, either showing a solid coverage or detecting the gaps in the whole. The inquirer is an essential figure in organizations driven by performance and growth.

A second dimension of questioning is the horizon’s extension. Every development process or strategy decision should come up with a priority setting or with different alternatives. Thus, at the beginning of a decision-making, it is essential to question the possibilities. Some questions might not fit the purpose, but some others will open a way that was hidden till the question was raised.  The guy who asked might not know the answer. But this is not even needed, neither that he must provide one. It is enough with being there and ask the right question in the right moment.