Guest Post by Stan Hustad
One of the paraphrases of a great quote that I often repeat is this, “The master teacher came into the world telling stories and asking questions.” So what do we do? We preach sermons, make speeches, do presentations, and give answers. Perhaps we have something to learn.
That is one of the reasons why we believe in “leading with questions.” In my leadership performance coaching practice I use a variety of questions, because indeed, it is questions, not sermons and answers, that promote self–discovery and true learning.
One of our “Hustadisms” for your thought and consideration goes as follows.
“A truth told is good, but seldom heard.
A truth revealed, has greater yield.
But a truth discovered, is best of all… and
A truth imposed is no truth at all.”
So good questions promote self-discovery which is best of all. One of my favorite questions in my practice has now become almost a signature statement of my work with clients and today I share that powerful practice with you.
It is rooted in a story, or course. Real or not the story has a great truth. It is reported that when the great transcendental thinkers and philosophers in 19th century New England in the United States, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, would meet each other as they wandered around Concord town or Walden Pond in Massachusetts, they would stop and ask each other:
“Since we last met, what is clearer to you now?”
That is the question that I ask, “Since we last met (talked, e-mailed, wrote, came together, etc.), what is clearer to you now? In fact with many clients and colleagues I no longer have to ask. They begin by saying, “Let me tell you what is clearer now.”
Others have told me that often the best part of my consulting engagements happens before I show up. They know what question is coming so they think about the answer before I even ask.
So there you go, another great way to lead, influence, and challenge others with a great question.
Stan Hustad is a teacher, writer, broadcaster, consultant, and the founder of new venture to help people “do what matters” when it comes to their life,business, habits of the heart, and strategies of the Spirit called The Changemaker Connection. You can read and see his “stuff” at StanHustad.com