Everyone has problems to solve. Everyone! Solving problems is more than just dos and don’ts. So how do you go about it – successfully and skillfully?
Let me tell you a personal story.
In my younger years, I hardly ever had a question to ask – but I sure had answers.
To me, questions were a sign of weakness. Questions were for the ignorant and I wasn’t about to show any ignorance.
If I had a question I’d wait til I got my answer – but I never asked. I never – ever asked a question in class when I was in school or anywhere - Never!
As I got older, I experienced a shift - a radical shift in my mind. One day I realized I didn’t know everything. (Imagine that) In fact, I almost thought I didn’t know anything. It was a weird drastic feeling for me.
As time went on I acquired more information to fill the void of knowledge and confidence in my mind. When I got more information, which obviously resulted in more or better answers, another radical shift took place in my mind and heart.
The shift was this: My best “know-how” my best “conclusions” and my best “answers or ideas” may have been great, or even amazing (I sometimes thought) but not necessarily “God’s best. “
I realized that my “good ideas” were not always “God ideas.” I noticed how my approach to something may not necessarily be God’s way of doing things. There was more I needed to learn.
As a result of this experience, I have learned two simple yet powerful lessons I want to share with you.
1. I’ve learned that the more I learn, the more I learn that I still need to learn some more.
In other words, the more I know, that more I realize how much I still don’t know.
This is not some type of insecurity syndrome or anything weird like that.Truth is, the older and mature we get, the more we realize that there is more to life, people, things and more to God that meets the eye.
The reality is – there is much more to you – your character, your value, your performance, your skills, and your worth than meets the eye. That’s why you don’t feel like your job pays you enough or values you enough to meet your worth. The real you!
2. I’ve learned to ask questions.
In almost any and every conversation I have with others I ask questions.I’ve learned this technique approach in leadership training, coaching training and also in self-training.I has become part of me now.
Why has it become part of me?
Simple! I’ve learned that if I don’t ask questions, especially, the right questions, I won’t know the information I need to know.
On the other hand, I may know the necessary information at hand, but I may not know the motive, the reason, or the condition of the situation that would help me solve the problem, correct the situation or simply add value to it. So I need to ask.
The right questions, when asked, bring me to the foundation of a revelation. In other words, when I ask the right questions I discover truth about the foundation of a situation, enabling me to understand better and thus providing me with the best plan of action.
When asking others questions at a time of counseling, a job interview, correcting or training your own kids, be sure to ask the right questions.
Sara Goldstein, in her article 30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”
She outlines 30 different clever ways to ask your child the right kinds of questions that gets them talking and interacting with you. They're not difficult or hard to answer questions - they are simple yet interactive questions.
Are we asking the right questions, seeking the unusual answers, and not presuming we know everything already?
The right question can be a disruptive agent that will cut through into new levels of understanding. It unveils deeper and richer thoughts that will create a transformation in our lives, friends, our family or our communities.
The right question can be a disruptive agent that will cut through into new levels of understanding. Tweet that too.
So there you have it. In my short life time I’ve learned to learn more, and I’ve also learned to ask the right kinds of questions.
Learning more especially by asking the right questions will lead you in new levels of understanding creating transformation in your life, and providing incredible value to others.
Question: What have you learned by asking somebody the right questions for a solving a problem that they would not otherwise convey? Share below.
Have you had one of those days where things are breaking around the house, the kids are getting sick, the car has a flat and the neighborhood has a funky smell in the air?
Yeah, you might have. I’ve had days like that. In fact, I’ve had more than one of those days.
It is one of those days that you say: “you know, this is not what I signed up for this when …. (you fill in the blank).
I have lived in the country for over 12 years now. Our family moved from the north side of Chicago to the Southern country Appalachian valleys of Ohio. Life in the country is one that we enjoy very much.
But let me tell you the truth, the country has its challenges just like the suburbs do – just a little different challenges, though.
I had Big dreams. Most of us did as kids and most of us still do. Did you ever have the same kind of dreams I had? You know, the dreams most kids have, like being a policeman, a firefighter and a popular singer and musician.
Later in life I had one dream – to be rich. Yeah, don’t laugh, you did too.
Nothing wrong with wanting to be rich but life has its turns, surprises and things often turn out different than we initially hoped for. You become more responsible and also learn that life is not what you thought it was while playing with toys and riding your bike around the block.
Have you ever made a bad decision? I sure have. Last year I spoke to an audience were students were present. It was kind of a graduation related message. I spoke about the importance of our decisions in living life after graduation.
Indeed, life itself requires a series of decisions. We all make them. Some of our decisions are good and some are not so good. There are other decisions that are rather tough to make. Tim Parsons wrote a good article about tough decisions.
Regardless, we make decision on a daily basis. A truth to consider was given by Solomon when he said: A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.
Here are 4 things I’ve learned to consider when making decisions:
1. Decisions are best made with a good amount of wisdom in the mix. The more information, the more experience and the more we know about a situation, the better the decision will be made.
Better yet, the way in which the decision is made is going to determine the outcome. Sometimes, the attitude or the approach during a decision that’s been made will either make or break the outcome of that decision.
2. You can’t afford to make an emotional decision. To make emotional decisions often lead to regrets instead of a positive future. But when a decision is made objectively based on facts and/or truth combined with wisdom, often results are suitable for the situation.
3. The reality is we are all where we are as a result of our decisions. The question is: Are you pleased with where you are in life? Have your decisions lead you in the right direction as you expected or as you hoped?
I recall when we were getting ready to purchase land in a different State to build a new house. Mind you, this is one of the biggest decisions one can make. To say that we were scared is an understatement. So we prayed. God knew our hearts and we prayed about the situation, and guess what? He answered! Our emotions were calmed and we were able to make a wise decision. This leads me to another important factor.
When a decision is made objectively based on facts and/or truth combined with wisdom, often results are suitable for the situation. Tweet This
4. Reactions are often negative decisions. Don’t react. Just respond to the situation.
For many, decisions are often made reactively. In other words, sometimes we coast through life and when something undesirable takes place we make a decision to go against that situation which, of course, leads us somewhere. That “somewhere” is often a place we didn’t necessarily planned to be in initially.
That’s not to say that reactive decisions are always bad, sometimes they turn out to be great, as a matter of fact. I know this contradicts this point, but check this out…
An example of a good “reactive” decision is when two kids are playing with a softball, and one misses the throw and out of the corner of your eye you see this ball coming at you. In a less than a split second, which feels more like days or years, this oncoming object appears bigger and bigger. Suddenly, you react by ducking down preventing a blow to the head, saving yourself a trip to the hospital. This is a good reactive decision.
But more often than not, reactive decisions or choices are detrimental to our future, such as what career to choose, or the person to marry, etc. So avoid them and pray and respond. This also leads me to one last thought:
Successful and productive decisions are often and best made based on two major factors: Prayer and Vision. When we take time to pray, seek God’s face and his ways, He will answer, (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
Furthermore, when our lives are managed, lead and directed by a vision, then our decisions are more decisive and conducive to our vision and not necessarily related to the problem at hand sabotaging our vision. Wise decisions are often made from prayer and from a foundation of vision, which was also (and hopefully) birthed in prayer. (if you want more info on this subject, you can get my book which will take you further on your vision pursuit)
I will be posting a little bit more on this subject in a future blog post.
P.S. If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more on topics like these, please comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your friends.