This is part 1 of a 2 part series discussing the power and importance of questions. As leaders, we often find ourselves quoting vision and mission statements. We make bullet point summaries of our organizational values. We state details about our ethics and operational guidelines. But do the questions we ask support those claims and talking points?
Andy Stanley once said that you can tell what a man values by the questions he asks. If you want to know what I care about at Centresource, pay attention to the questions I ask. Before we get into business, let’s take a step into the family world and you’ll see what I mean.
If my wife calls and says she’s been in a car accident, the next questions are critical. If I were to ask, “How’s the car?,” that would state my values. On the other hand, if I exclaimed, “Oh no! Were you hurt?,” I convey a very different set of values. Or here’s another example, using a child’s report cards. Many parents tell their children that they just want them to do their best. But if they were to ask every day if they got an A on their test, we are supporting a belief that we really care about As and not effort.
The same is true for business. I may say in my talking points that we care about our employees. But if my questions have nothing to do with the well-being of my team, my talking points don’t equate to my values. I’ve always admired those people that are life-long learners. Even if they are at the top of their careers, you’ll find them hanging out with someone smart, asking lots of questions.
So the question is…what questions are you asking?