Guest Post by Keith E. Webb

Are you looking for answers? You might be better off searching for good questions!

We often look for answers in the form of information. New books, teaching, and workshops attract our attention. Don’t confuse information gathering with answers. They are very different things.

The University of California, San Diego did a study of how much information the average American takes in a day. It’s 100,500 words or 34 gigabytes of data – a day! That’s like filling your computer’s hard drive every week.

Great answers come not so much from new information, but creative application.  Often you already have all the information you need.  You just need to apply it differently.  This is where questions come in.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

Insightful answers are based on asking insightful questions. Questions inherently have potential to produce something new – insights, ideas, strategies, and solutions.

Good questions are like breathing

Once we are satisfied that we have found an answer, it’s easy to hold on too firm to that bit of learning. Everything can change in a blink of an eye.

Like breathing, if you stop asking questions you die.

We inhale through questions. Then we exhale insights, ideas, and new information.

We breath in oxygen (among other gases) which provides energy to our bodies. We breath out toxic carbon dioxide to cleanse our bodies. If you fail to inhale again carbon dioxide will build up, poisoning your body.

Questions are to learning what oxygen is to our blood. Questions enrich us, stimulate our learning, and dislodge potentially “toxic” ideas and strategies that we’ve hung onto too long.

In fact, just as soon as we exhale our “bits of brilliance,” it’s time to inhale with a few more questions if we want to go on living. Like breathing, questions are necessary to continue to learn, adapt, and grow.

The answer, you see, is questions!

How about you?

  • What’s the last great question you heard?
  • How could you improve your questions when looking for answers?
  • When looking at information, ask yourself, “What meaning does this have for me?”

Which of your friends would thank you if you forwarded this post to them?

Keith Webb

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Keith Webb, PCC, is the founder and President of Creative Results Management, a global training organization focused on equipping Christian leaders. For 20 years, Keith lived in Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. These experiences led him to question conventional leadership practices. In 2004, Keith created the COACH Model® and since then, a series of International Coach Federation (ICF) approved coaching training programs. In the revised and expanded edition of The COACH Model for Christian Leaders, Keith shares the process that he taught more than 10,000 leaders around the world use to solve problems, reach goals, and develop people. Keith blogs at keithwebb.com.

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2 thoughts on “The Answer is the Question

  1. stevet617 says:

    For more on leading with questions, see the book by that same title by Michael Marquardt http://www.amazon.com/Leading-Questions-Leaders-Solutions-Knowing/dp/0787977462

  2. Thanks Steve! Michael Marquardt’s book is always a great recommendation. Mike has been very generous is allowing me to make use of unlimited excerpts from his book for my blog.

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