Over the past couple of days there’ve been more than a couple of times in which someone has asked me a very insightful question. Most times the person has asked the question with the intent of finding an answer and learning, but it seems as if each time I walk away feeling like I was the one who learned the answer. I’m not quite sure how to say it, but the questions cause me to pause and think internally. When I spend time thinking about the answer my mind drifts into the “why” stage and I end up learning something I could do better myself. Make sense?
After these though provoking questions I’ve been thinking about what specifically got my brain going down that path. The questions are almost all open ended. After the question is asked there are response questions asked to learn more about the initial question. In the dialogue and answers to the second set of questions are brutal honesty and a focus on the reality of the answers. In helping to answer the question examples and previous learning opportunities, good and bad, are shared openly. Those examples lead to more questions. From there it’s not really about one person giving the right answer, it’s more about both people constructing a potential correct answer together. In those moments both parties gain knowledge and are able to improve and grow. It’s pretty wild!
Maybe this has always been the case, but I feel like my ego has gotten in the way in the past. I used to see those questions as a way show off my successes and would give a direct answer and not listen to the question with the intent of learning. My heart sinks a bit thinking of all the times I could have learned more from a question instead of just answering it to brag.
As in so many aspects of life it’s becoming more and more clear that I can choose the right perspective when someone asks an insightful question. I’m thankful for that realization and am excited to work on it further.