Do You Ask Good Questions?


dartClassic Countdown In the month leading up to the fourth anniversary of this blog’s launch, I am sharing my favorite posts. This was published on April 28, 2010.


When I taught marketing at a local university, I received curious looks from students when I would say, “I hope you’re not here to learn marketing answers.”

After letting them wrestle with that concept for a moment, I would continue by saying, “The reason I am here is to stimulate your curiosity so that you ask good marketing questions.”

Too often we mistakenly assume that the goal of education is to find the right answers. We obsess unnecessarily with that pursuit—finding correct answers.

We would be much wiser to focus on asking good questions. From my experience, I have learned that answers magically appear at the right time when coaxed out of hiding by positive, affirming questions.

We’ve all worked for a boss or been around someone who compensated for his insecurity by always having to provide the right answers. I’ve never been impressed with know-it-alls. Rather, I hope to be surrounded by individuals who are curious, inquisitive and vulnerable. They recognize that life is a journey and the pathway is best illuminated when we ask insightful, probing and provocative questions.

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

Don’t you love that quote from James Thurber?

Want to test your own skills? Why not leave a comment below in the form of a question? Can you help move this conversation forward—not by offering an opinion—but by asking an interesting question?

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