Sunday, July 01, 2012

Why Do You Ask?

Why Do You Ask?
In order to develop problem-solvers, we need to help our mentees identify and acknowledge the problem and ultimately, solve the problem. This requires the mentee to think, to engage, and to take ownership.  The extract and tell method that is often employed by leaders doesn’t do any of that well.
Another useful reason for the question is to figure out the best response.  Often the guess about what the person is asking for is fine, but the truth is that often an answer really depends on what the person is after.  Why did car crash?  We usually don't want to know that momentum carried it into a spot occupied by something else - if even that is "correct."

Usually people don't think when they get a question: (thinking: why? well x, why x, well y, why y, well z, why z, well a, why a - ah that is basically the root cause)  then answer a, see what happened is x because of y because of z which was due to a.

Another example is if you ask where I want to go to lunch tomorrow my answer will be different if you are asking everyone (I can say my favorite choice) or if you are not sure and you know I know lots of places where should we all go to lunch tomorrow...  The purpose of the question is important.  Often we can guess it.  But often we also guess wrong.

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