The exigencies of war have brought forth many a beautiful question. In 1859, a young Swiss Calvinist named Henry Dunant traveling in Italy came upon the aftermath of a bloody battle between the Austrian and French armies. On the battlefield some 40,000 men lay dead or wounded, and Dunant hastily organized the locals in binding wounds and feeding the injured. Upon his return home, Dunant wrote: “Would there not be some means, during a period of peace and calm, of forming relief societies whose object would be to have the wounded cared for in time of war by enthusiastic, devoted volunteers, fully qualified for the task?” And thus the Red Cross national relief societies were born. The subsequent idea of pooling the skills and resources of various Red Cross Societies to provide humanitarian assistance in peacetime, and not just during war, also was championed by Dunant.
A few Question quotes
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Want to be a better critical thinker? Questions can be a powerful way to spot false narratives and “weaponized lies.” Read more about it in this article I wrote for The Atlantic’s Quartz.com.
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I don’t know if they qualify as “beautiful questions” but there’s something oddly fascinating about the imaginative questions that band leader Reggie Watts asks the guests of James Corden’s The Late Late Show.
At the 2016 Capital Coaches Conference I’ll be discussing my belief that coaches, who already know the power of great questions, should teach their clients how to become beautiful questioners themselves.
In The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier, Michael shares 7 powerful questions that can make someone a better leader or manager.