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Friday / May 24.
HomemilastwordQuestions, Not Answers

Questions, Not Answers

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and then allows you to learn something new,” Barack Obama.

A little while ago a friend of mine from the Gold Coast posted a note on Facebook and asked: “Can anyone help my partner get a job? He’s a graduate accountant and is finding it tough to get a start”.

Jag, my accountant, takes on new grads so I said, “It’s a shame he’s not in Sydney because he’d have a job in a minute. Anything I can do to help?”. After putting it out there I didn’t think anything more of it.

Then, she messaged me and asked, “do you think he has contacts on the Gold Coast?” So, I asked, but didn’t think it’d go anywhere.

if we keep asking questions we will get closer to the answer

Jag got back to me and said, “Unfortunately, no, but would he like to come down to Sydney and I can give him some guidance or experience?”. Now, the door was ajar.

My friend was doing cartwheels when she heard this. “He could fly down for four days a week” and then she said, “This is exactly the break I was hoping for”.

Exactly the break she was hoping for!

I asked a question to see if I could help. That was it. A simple question has possibly launched a career.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “We run this company on questions, not answers.”

It is obvious to Schmidt that if we keep asking questions we will get closer to the answer we’re looking for.

Children ask more than 100 questions a day about anything that comes to mind. As we get older we ask less questions, but they increase in difficulty.

Detectives solve cases by asking questions. Great philosophers spend their lives asking questions about life, the universe and everything.

Isaac Newton asked, “Why does an apple fall from a tree?” Einstein asked, “What if I rode a beam of light across the universe?” They asked these simple questions then went about answering them.

Questions are crucial to learning and yet, as adults, most of us stop asking questions. We become more set in our ways, more indignant in our world view. Others are afraid to ask questions for fear of looking weak but as Barack Obama attests, “Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength”.

Asking questions in a relaxed non-confrontational way helps build relationships. They show you’re interested and that you care about the person.

As eye care professionals, you make it a practice to ask your patients questions to find out more about their eye health: what they dislike about their vision; whether they suffer from dry eye; the reason for their visit… you ask because you want to help improve their eyesight.

“Intelligent questions stimulate, provoke, inform and inspire,” says Paul Sloane, author, speaker and innovative thinker. “Questions help us to teach as well as to learn.”

Reference

1. Ask questions: The Single Most Important Habit for Innovative Thinkers. Innovation Management. Paul Sloane.