I Have a Question …

Puzzled Look“We do not grow by knowing all of the answers, but rather by living with the questions.”  (Max Dupree)

I have a question for you this morning …

Why are we so reluctant to ask questions?

In a group, most people sit and quietly listen …

In a class, most students listen and take notes …

During a meeting, people do all kinds of things …

… But asking a thoughtful and well-stated question is relatively rare in these situations, at least in my experience.

I teach with an emphasis on Socratic questioning, which just means asking questions to get students to think longer and in more depth about the topic.

When I coach or counsel, questions are my primary tool to help others gain insight and develop strategies for change.

Questions create dialogues.  Questions stimulate thought.  Questions matter.

Questions are the tools that unlock our potential, create our realities, and prepare us for our futures.   

Even in these situations, where questions are frequent and often useful, most people do not ask them.   As a person whose motivation is to help others, this is quite frustrating.

“Confidence never comes from having all the answers, but rather from being open to all the questions.”    (Earl Gray Stevens)

Therefore, the question of the morning remains:

Why are we so reluctant to ask questions?

… or is my experience abnormal enough to nullify this question?

Asking lots of questions this morning in the Heartland ….


6 thoughts on “I Have a Question …

  1. Jane, your experience is not unusual. I have been told to “shut up so we can get out of here” more than once. I may need to be quieter, but I am amazed at how many people do not seem interested in gaining value and learning, when the opportunity presents itself.

    You keep right on asking:) …


  2. I am a question asker. I listen actively so I ask relevant questions. It’s tough to ask questions though if nobody else joins in. I don’t like to call attention to myself do if it appears that I’m doing that. I will stop asking in session but get the speaker’s contact information or advice in where to find more information.

    I think sometimes attendees think they can break early and have free time if nobody asks questions.


  3. Hey, David.
    Right you are … I am one of those who ask the questions, and often receive comments like “I’m so glad you asked about that. I didn’t know either.” I can remember being reluctant to “put myself out there” as a younger man, but now that my vanity has pretty much flown …:)



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