Asking the right question takes skill

By Laura Lee Rose, author of TimePeace: Making peace with time

I had a vivid dream last night.  In this dream, a friend was very proud of her published article in a certain magazine.  She asked me to read it.  I was very excited and was looking forward to a pleasant and proud read, “Sure, where is it?”

She hands me the magazine and says, “It’s in there”.

I start thumbing through the magazine.  The type was very small, and all the articles started with the same 6 words, making it:

1)      Very difficult to read, because the type was small and in italics.

2)      Time consuming, because all the article titles started the same.

I was squinting and found myself losing interest the longer I searched.  Then my self-doubt set in.  ‘Maybe I scanned the titles too quickly?  Maybe I misread some of the titles? Maybe I’ve actually passed the article?’  So I confessed, “I can’t seem to find the article in here.”

She quickly said, “It’s in there.”

The more I searched, the more impatient I became.  “I’m not seeing it.”

She was now getting frustrated, “It’s there.  Keep looking”.

By the time I found the article on page 101, I was not in the right frame of mind to read it.  At this moment I woke up with one question in my head: “Why didn’t I ask which page her article was on, in the first place?”

Asking the right question isn’t as easy as it sounds.  First – we need to recognize that an important question needs to be asked.  Second – we need to decide what that ‘important question’ would be.

In my dream, I was so caught up in the ‘action’ of finding the article that I did not pause to recognize my mounting frustration.  Although my initial goal was to pleasantly and proudly read my friend’s published article, it mutated into merely finding the article.  By the time I actually found it, I was neither pleasant nor excited.  Even though I found the article, I didn’t read it (failed at the essence of my goal).

One recommendation is to use your emotional trigger of frustration, or impatience as a sign that a question needs to be asked.

Try that trick and let me know what happens.  My website and blogs have examples on how to best use questions in your personal, professional and entrepreneurial roles.

Igniting the FuseFULL

May 15-17, 2013

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