When leaders stop asking questions and believe they have all the answers, they stop learning. I’m not talking about asking questions to be sure the problem is fully admired. I’m talking about the questions that probe and produce conversation about the real issues behind the problem that need to be addressed. If every time my child asks me to help her figure out the answer to a math problem and all I say in response is, “What do you think it is?” she will hate it (and possibly me). Yet, just giving her the answer every time is terrible parenting. So I ask her why this particular type of math is so challenging; what would help her better learn; what’s the best time of day to be studying math?
Does she need a snack, a nap, a tutor, a kick-in-the-pants? What’s really going on?