We live in a culture that highly values answers…knowledge…knowing what to do, when to do, how to do, etc. Many of us spent our careers as designated leaders – in organizations, or as owners of our own businesses. In either case, we likely felt the pressure to know all of the answers.
When questions were asked, we were expected to know the answers. So education, continuing education, training, seminars, workshops sprung up to support the ongoing filling of our minds of lots and lost of possible answers.
And then there is that moment…when someone asks a question and the answer isn’t coming to you. Some make up an answer and forget about it…until the consequences present themselves. Others find comfort in simply answering with a statement in which they share that they don’t know and will seek the answer and follow-up.
If only…we valued critical thinking; asking questions, being curious, listening and being present.
A few weeks ago, I posted this about remembering our ABCs…to Always Be Curious. I referenced a book which has recently been published that “…celebrates the art of asking – and answering – good questions.” The inside flap of the dust jacket says it far better and more eloquently:
“Asking a good question requires us to move far beyond that we think we know about an issue or a person to explore the difficult and the unknown, the awkward, and even the unpleasant.”
I feel more and more as if our slowing down to become curious enough to ask questions…to listen…and learn, will make a difference in where we are headed as a country, a society and a planet. The issues we face are both complex and simple. However, until and unless, we change the way we communicate, we may not find our way forward.
As a coach, I enjoy listening. How can I be of support, service and assistance to anyone, if I cannot truly and deeply listen to what the other person is saying? I have long said that coaching isn’t really a profession, it is really a way of being in relationship…with anyone. It is being in loving service to another to listen; to inquire; and to be compassionate and supportive while they discover their own answers to their own questions, dilemmas, and challenges.
We are all imbued with the answers we need to find our way through our life and to do the evolutionary work we are here to do and in so doing, to be loving and compassionate while in service to others. It’s a package deal.
May we all learn to listen deeply, to ask meaningful and thoughtful questions thereby making a powerful contribution to the awakening of our species and the healing of our planet.