4 minutes a day
The Discussion Forum I had a privilege to facilitate was about questioning techniques. While I was working hard to prepare, I found a TedTalk by Hal Gregersen, 2013, “How to Ask the Right Question” His words resonate with me on many levels, and open up a brand new world at the same time.
As new parents, my husband and I decided that I would dedicate the first three years to be a stay at home mom with our daughter. It was not an easy decision to make as in Canada, at that time, six months was the average moms were able to stay home with their new borns. In Hungary, where I am originally from, moms are able to stay at home for the first three years of their children’s lives. It has been discussed many times over, and a conclusion has been made, that there are many deciding factors in order to build a long lasting, quality relationship between parents and children. One of the most important factors in our lives turned out to be: BE THERE. As Gregersen talks about this and shows a picture of the little girl with her grandfather I am thinking about our daughter. As a baby she could not verbalize her questions yet but they were there, in her eyes. I was lucky enough to be there at those moments to provide answers, with my eyes. I feel, because of it, we were able to build an illuminating bond for life. The questions have changed over the years. All the way from “How fast the Christmas Angle have to fly across the world to bring Grandma’s gift from Hungary?” to “Why are humans cruel to animals?” As time goes by the answers to her questions are getting harder and harder to find. Thank goodness for Google. Sometimes we use it as a family activity. Never the less, my husband and I have been able to create and maintain an environment of trust where our daughter is free to ask questions. And the prof of that is that her questions are keep on coming every day.
“Innovators who change the world ask questions that disrupt the world.” (Gregersen, 2013, How to Ask the Right Question) This quote made a great impact on me. Gregerson talks about the minds of some of the greatest innovators in the world including Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc., and Jeff Bezos, Founder, Chairman and CEO of amazon.com. They all have asked daring questions which guided them in the direction of great discoveries. Humanity continues to need innovators with disrupting questions. As adults, some of our jobs are to provide safe conditions for our children to ask, and listen to their questions. There are countless solutions waiting to be discovered by the next generations.
Changes in my professional life are forcing me to ask myself questions. I am most likely not alone with my story of “monkey brain” where before bedtime one’s brain just cannot relax. Gregerson’s 4-24 Project inspired me to start writing my questions down. He is right, it never takes longer than 4 minutes. With that activity I am learning not to only organize but also to reword my questions. Over time it became easy to recognize and cross off questions that no longer have any purpose. It is powerful to see how my questions are evolving one day to the next, taking me closer and closer to the solution I never noticed before.