For centuries, knowledgeable people have recognized that successful leaders have a talent for asking the right questions to get the information they need. They are probing, penetrating, thought-provoking questions that force the other person to think. This enables the leader to bring out the best in that individual.
As individuals, we need to ask ourselves penetrating questions because questions force us to explore our own thinking. For example, do you believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs? John L. Mason asks that penetrating question in his book "Ask," and it really forces you to think. Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Do you lean toward the cynical? Or are you open-minded, giving the other person the benefit of the doubt? Do you question everything just to be questioning, or are you intellectually curious and really interested in the answer?
Are you preparing yourself for the future or simply waiting for the future? Do you know more about your profession, your family and yourself today than you did yesterday? What have you learned? Are you waiting for the future to "just happen," or are you taking steps to make certain your future is going to be what you can make it be? Do you let your past teach you or do you let it beat you? Do you recognize that the other person has a point of view and it could well be right, or do you stubbornly push ahead with the iron-clad belief that you've got the answer and refuse to be confused by any compelling evidence that there is a possibility you could be wrong?
Yes, questions really are the answer, and if we ask enough honest ones, we'll end up with a happier life and something to smile about.
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar's free email newsletter through [email protected]
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