Why Should You Care About Questioning?

Questioning can spark change in your life, your business—in the world around you. I first began to understand this as I studied some of the world’s leading innovators; many of them are masters at the art and science of asking questions. They have a knack for looking at the world around them—at the existing reality that everyone else usually just accepts—and asking: What if we did this? Or tried that?

Interestingly, we all start out as super-questioners—no one asks more questions than your average 4-year-old. But the habit of asking questions is trained out of us by the educational system. And then, as we make our way into the business world, we find that too often the emphasis is on short-term answers rather than exploring more far-reaching, potentially game-changing ideas. Many people in business are actually afraid to question the way things are done because they worry it will make them seem incompetent or insubordinate.

But this is not just a business-related issue: In our lives, in general, there’s a tendency to move along on auto-pilot when we really ought to be in the habit of regularly stepping back and questioning everything—about our career choices, about our attitudes and beliefs, about the ways we choose to live. Questioning is good for us. It can help to open up new possibilities in our lives. It’s a first step in solving problems. It makes us more successful as leaders. People who ask a lot of questions tend to be more engaged in their lives, more fulfilled, and happier.

In my book A More Beautiful Question, I explore the importance of questioning in school, in business, and in daily life. Click on the links below to be taken to stories and articles in each of these categories.

Daily Life