This past fall, there was a VISA commercial that starred Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens at a press conference being asked questions by a little girl. Her questions are different from the usual ones Ray, the reporters, and we the viewers are used to seeing asked and answered. And it’s obvious that they are not only different; they are cute, disarming, and we learn some different things about Ray as a result. He asks the rest of the reporters why they don’t ask these kinds of questions!
Asking the right questions can reveal useful information about both the person doing the asking and the one who responds. In my work with professionals I help people get better results. How I do that is a mix of skills but the one that gets my clients further than any other is the ability to ask good questions.
Genuine nonjudgmental curiosity can move people forward toward discovery. Too many people feel an internal time pressure – the need to hurry up and come up with the question and more importantly – and answer. Imagine if you chose instead to ask questions for reflection and consideration. No time pressure is involved.
The little girl at the press conference is asking questions that are not typical and as a result, Ray can reflect. It’s not a test – it’s unearthing more information about him as a person.
This subtle shift is a powerful one.
What questions are you asking? Are they good ones? Do they get you information, or do they get you reflection, a deeper relationship, and allow for learning?
Are you being asked good, challenging questions? Do you have time to reflect and get to a deeper level of understanding? If you’d like to move in that direction, contact me. That’s what I do for my clients.
And in the spirit of full disclosure, the Super Bowl is this coming weekend and living in Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore Raven’s are my team of choice.