Are you answering questions or questioning answers?

It’s not about the answer.

Answers are overrated.

Questions are more important than answers because of the PROCESS they initiate. For example:

1. It’s about POINTING to a variety of solutions. There’s usually more than one answer. And limiting yourself to a sole-solution is a dangerous barrier to creative thinking and effective problem solving. How many right answers are you willing to accept?

2. It’s about STIMULATING thinking. You can’t un-ring a bell, and you can’t step into the same river twice. Once a question has been asked, it’s out there. And it’s almost impossible NOT to start looking for an answer. How quickly are you getting the ball rolling?

3. It’s about FORWARDING the exploration and discovery process. Not destination; process. Journey. Path. After all, the word “question” is rooted with the word “quest.” So, one of the reasons you ask questions is to give people – yourself included – permission to commence searching. What’s preventing you from following your curiosity?

4. It’s about INSTILLING a foundation of wonderment. Even calling the process “questioning” seems too narrow. Wonderment is better. It’s more expansive, more attitude-based and deeply rooted in curiosity. Are you questioning or wondering?

5. It’s about CATAPULTING someone into new territory. Somewhere their mind has never ventured. Somewhere their curiosity has never visited. Somewhere their creativity has never attempted. It’s like running on the same path every day. You eventually build up enough endurance to extend the run by a few miles. This will result in the exposure to adventurous terrain you’ve never seen before … which is very healthy. Where will this question take you that you’ve never been before?

6. It’s about EVOKING deeper thought. For the person you ask the questions to AND for yourself. This process is similar to yoga. You ease deeper and deeper into the posture as you practice, each time creating new muscle memory in your body. Stretching. Growing. Expanding. How are you creating new (mental) muscle memory?

7. It’s about SLOWING someone down. Throwing a wrench into the gears of the conversation and making someone stop completely. And they pause for a moment; staring at you like you’re crazy, wondering where the hell that question just came from. But more importantly, they start thinking about where the hell that question just took them. How are you violating people’s expectations?

8. It’s about CUTTING through to the heart of the issue. Some questions hurt. They slice deep. And they might even cause people laugh in that sort of “collar-loosening-eye-shifting-AH-CRAP-you’re right” kind of way. Are you willing to cut gently?

REMEMBER: Answers are overrated. Questions are more important because of the PROCESS they initiate.

In the words of Dr. House: “When you run out of questions, you don’t just run out of answers, you run out of hope.”

Are you answering questions or questioning answers?

For the (entire) list called, “8 Ways to Out QUESTION Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

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Two questions that made me laugh OUT LOUD

I collect questions.

At current, my database contains about five thousand of them.

Some I read in books.
Some I overhear in conversations.
Some I just come up with out of thin air.

And, regardless of their origin, the best part about collecting questions is that initial moment when you first come across one that profoundly penetrates you.

Because you’re never the same again.

Questions make us bigger. They’re bridges. They’re fuel. They contain energy. They invite dialogue; enlist introspection and ensue honest appraisals of our personal Truth.

And SOME questions are so powerful, so confrontational and so thought provoking that they actually cause a physical reaction. You might gasp, drop your jaw, nod your head, or even say, “Wow…”

These physical cues are windows into our worlds. They help us pinpoint and excavate what’s REALLY going on inside our heads.

Me? I tend to laugh when I see great questions. Almost as if to say, “Touche, sir. A fair and noble inquiry indeed!”

This happened to me the other day…

I was compiling some notes from a recent NametagTV module when I came across two questions that literally caused me to laugh – out loud. That’s how moving they were.

The first question was:

What are you doing that makes NO sense at all?

I CRACKED up. Absolutely hysterical.

And not because the question was, like, Ha-Ha Funny; but rather that the question made me realize, “Wow, there is so much stupid crap I’m doing in my life right now that makes NO sense at all.”

You gotta love questions like that.

And then, not five minutes later, another question made me laugh out loud:

What consumes your time that isn’t making you any money?

I chuckled to myself in that shifty-eyed, collar loosening, “yikes,” sort of way.

“Wow,” I laughed, “I wonder what daily activities I could ditch because they’re not producing any income?”

Yeah. That is just HILARIOUS…

So, that’s why questions are – in my experience – the most important things in the world. Here’s why:

A question SENDS you off to the races. Stretching your mind into unexpected, unencumbered territory. Challenging your soul to expand and grow and mature. And the BEST part is, once you’ve asked a question, once your mind has danced with that little beauty for a few songs, your mind never quite returns to its original size.

A question FORCES you (and others) to confront yourself. As if to say, “Alright. Cut the shit. Let’s honestly assess what’s going on here. Let’s hold ourselves – and each other – accountable for our actions.

A question FUNCTIONS as that little nudge, push, tipping point or last straw you needed. Helping you to surpass that threshold level of understanding that so desperately tried to hold you back. Helping you meet your own eyes in the mirror and confront yourself.

A question CRACKS open a new world. And all it takes is one. One question – either something you read or hear or write (or even accidentally utter yourself) – that makes you stop dead in your tracks, freeze the moment and say, “Wow. Now THERE’S a good question.”

A question ENLISTS your creativity. It’s impossible to be asked a question and NOT start looking for an answer. The human brain simply can’t resist. The good news is, when your mind is fixated on finding a solution; new ideas and possibilities start coming out of the blue. Almost like the universe KNEW you were looking and granted permission to your unconscious mind to go on a manhunt. Er, question-hunt.

A question can FORGE a path. Asking the right questions is the ONLY way to uproot Truth. Your words are mental machetes that clear the cabbage out of the way. And when I say “cabbage” I mean things like denial and procrastination. Fear and motivation. If you drop the right question at the right time, and you’ll slowly create space to see the entirety of the landscape.

A question VISUALIZES ideal conditions. You inspire people to paint a compelling, detailed picture of the desired future and make meaningful strides toward it. You also empower people to speak FROM the future so they can look back to identify the steps that led there.

A question PREDICTS the future. It lets you imagine the road before you have to travel it, discarding any maps that don’t go where you need to go. You enable people to act as if the desired changed already imagine what they need to become in order for their goals to manifest.

A question can CUT deeply, yet therapeutically. These are the best questions in the world. They almost make you smile, nod your head and say, “OK. Fair enough. Good point.” These are my favorite questions to ask coaching clients.

A question EMPOWERS others to turn inward. Instead of having all the answers, instead of “fixing” people, you ask certain questions to encourage people to tap and trust their inner resources and figure out the answer on their own. Because you’re a midwife, assisting others in giving birth to their own understanding.

A question ENABLES learning. At the root of the word question is the word quest, which means to SEEK, DESIRE and ADVENTURE. So, questions forward the action. All it takes is one and everything can change. Forever.

A question EXPLODES people’s brains. Because it’s not about the answer but what the answer POINTS to. Ask ridiculous questions that stretch people because what they say will represent something bigger, better and brighter.

What questions did you ask yourself today?

For the list called, “8 Ways to Out QUESTION Your Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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