There are all sorts of reasons for asking questions: curiosity, learning, information, checking in, and listening are a few. But how about the feeling you get when you hear, “That’s a great question! I’ve never thought about that before.”
Some magic just happened; there’s a pause, a reorienting, and a connection made that wasn’t there before. You moved past the rules (e.g., make sure your question is open-ended) and into relationship. That’s when I think we have asked a better question, one that opens up possibilities and narratives and conversations.
A ‘better’ question…
- Unpacks & sifts through our immediate experience to what is vital
- Keeps us grounded in the values & beliefs we do hold
- Allows us to be truly present and a witness to other people in a way that brings health & healing
- Encourages “beginner’s mind”: curiosity, openness, a not-knowing stance that invites more connection & authenticity
- Demonstrates our careful listening and therefore our care & compassion
And, perhaps, to close the circle, a good question might also inspire a good answer and, then, another better question.
Peace to you and your household.