Better Questions – Time

August 30, 2019
August 30, 2019 Lindsay Tighe

Better Questions – Time

TimeIt is interesting for me that without exception when I explain the concept of asking Better Questions one of the most common objections to using the approach is that it will take too much time. I do acknowledge that asking questions instead of providing answers will usually take longer and so understand this reaction.

What I ask people to consider though is that it will take more time initially but that there are longer term benefits that actually mean you will save time.  Let’s work this through so that it is clear what I mean. Let’s imagine that a person that works with you has gotten used to you always being there and providing answers for them. Their first thought when they are stuck will be to ask you a question, which you have always readily answered for them, and so this becomes an unconscious habit by both parties.

If we imagine that you now become aware of the benefits of asking Better Questions and start to apply the technique in practice. This means that when the person comes to you for an answer you no longer simply provide a response and ask them a question.. After a while the person starts to realise that when they come to you for help you will only ask them for their own ideas, as it is clear that you are inviting them to think for themselves and take responsibility.

Of course, as they build their confidence and start to get used to thinking for themselves they will come to realise that they don’t need to come to you at all because they have worked the answer out for themself. I do recognise that in some instances this may take a little time to play out in practice – indeed they may still choose to come to you if they wish to run certain things by you, and also you may ask them still to ensure that certain things are run by you if that level of authority is required.

Ultimately though I hope that you can see that the frequency of the requests for help will reduce which means in the long run you will actually be saving time by practicing the skill of asking Better Questions. Imagine if you are working with a number of people and that you put this into practice with everyone – the multiplier effect of this time saved can be quite significant, which is an exciting prospect as you can now choose how best to maximise this bonus of available time. Something that doesn’t happen very often in our busy lives and a wonderful positive outcome of asking Better Questions!