Questions or Answers?

10-birch-barkOn a LinkedIn Forum recently, someone posted the following …  Who is a STRONGER LEADER – one who rates the team based on the quality of ANSWERS they give or one who rates on the quality of QUESTIONS the team asks?

I would say that this is another question of perception.  I am a coach, so being curious is my part of my job description and has been part of who I am since birth (My Mom reminded me frequently about her frustration based on my sea of endless questions).  When I saw the post, a response flowed easily.  From my perspective the learning is in the questions; the results in the answers.  A strong leader recognizes the value of both. In our hurried, busy, fast-paced culture, we are addicted to answers.  However, often stepping back to ask and then allowing time to ponder the question provides the best result (answer)!

If we use the “scientific method” as a foundation, great discoveries occur because of the questions … not the answers.  The discovery (answer) follows from the question.   In the same vein, almost all inventions happen because someone asks, “what if” or “why doesn’t someone make”.  There is power in questions!

In the LinkedIn forum, this headline question generated a thoughtful exchange and in the end I’d say the consensus was that both are important.  In fact, to keep questioning is an important part of staying aligned with the initial purpose.  The strongest leader sees the power, place and purpose of both.    How would you respond?


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