7 Ways to Inspire Enlightenment with Curiosity

Wisdom is first seen in the questions you ask.

Good questions inform. Great questions enlighten.

good questions inform - great questions enlighten

7 ways to inspire enlightenment with curiosity:

#1. Slow and simple is better than fast and complex.

Great questions cause people to pause and reflect. Don’t break the silence. Make space for people to reflect and respond.

  1. What are your challenges?
  2. And what else?
  3. What’s important about that?
  4. What do you want?
  5. Who might help?

#2. Don’t worry about figuring things out.

Make it your job to ask questions that help others figure things out.

Welcome confusion. It drives curiosity.

#3. Ask one question at a time.

It takes discipline to be curious effectively.

If you tend to ask more than one question at a time, be open with your intention to ask one. “I realize I’m asking too many questions, let me land the plane. I really want to ask this one question….”

#4. Begin questions with “What” or “How.”

“What” or “how” are opened ended. Questions that begin with “is” or “what about” are usually leading.

  1. What matters now?
  2. How would you like to deal with this?
  3. What’s the next step?

#5. Give feedback between questions.

Rapid fire questions feel like the inquisition.

After listening to an answer, tell people what you are thinking or feeling. Say, “That was interesting. I wonder about ….”

#6 Ask the second question.

After you hear an answer, ask a question that digs deeper. “I hear you saying …, and I wonder about….”

#7 Listen deeply. Take brief notes.

Keeping notes is paying attention.

Bonus: Turn toward the future when asking questions.

The past is useful, but leadership is about the future. Even when you ask about the past, face forward. “What have you learned from past experience that is relevant to this situation?”

Insight and enlightenment begin with a question.

What’s challenging about asking questions?

How might leaders ask insightful questions?