Questions are the Answer

questions are the answer
Mar 2020

Questions are the Answer

I was intrigued by the book – Questions are the Answer.  Author, Hal Gregersen, is Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Centre and senior lecturer in leadership ship and innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  He presents a well-researched and well-articulated exploration of how questions can be the most valuable approach to solving problems.

He invented a simple but very effective “Question Burst” exercise designed to bring insight and open the way for new perspective.  I tried it myself with a couple of colleagues and discovered new clarity and motivation to move forward with my issue.

Questions to ask yourself

Step 1 – Set the Stage.  Select a challenge you care deeply about – a setback or hurdle that calls to be resolved.  Invite a small group to help challenge you with fresh angles by asking you questions.  Take 2 minutes to lay out your problem and no more.  Give yourself an emotional check-in to determine your mood.

Step 1 – Generate the Questions. Take 4 minutes. The individuals in your group can only ask questions – rapid fire is best.  You do not answer.  Capture the questions verbatim.   You should end up with about 20 questions.  Stop the clock and do another emotional check-in.  Do you feel more positive now?

Step 3 – Unpack the Questions.  On your own, study the questions and notice which ones offer new pathways.  You may find that at least one question reframes the problem and provides a new angle for solving it.   You can go on to create more questions for yourself.

Step 4 – Commit to the Quest (quest as in question).  (I added this step).  Decide on your next steps as a way to move the needle on the issue.  With greater clarity and momentum to proceed, new insights and solutions will reveal themselves along the way.

Let me know how this worked for you.

You may also like this article written by Marlene about Taming Your Dragons.


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