I realize that we are about to close out January, but that doesn’t we should not continue to revisit those new year resolutions we have made. Year after year I have found that the changes I desire to make are more meaningful and effective if they are ideas that I have mulled over and return to on multiple occasions. Today’s blog post is an opportunity to revisit those commitments in light of this article by Dr. Meryl Herr, where she is a Senior Researcher at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership. Even if this article doesn’t inform your 2022 resolutions, it has the potential to powerfully influence your every day. Enjoy!
LEADING BETTER WITH BIGGER QUESTIONS
by Dr. Meryl Herr
On December 31, 2017, I started a new New Years tradition. I grab my journal, my Bible, a few pens or markers, and make myself cozy under a warm blanket. I skim my journal entries, think about the books of the Bible I read that year, recall the struggles and heartaches, and try to list the lessons learned.
Then, I wonder what themes from the past year God invites me to carry into the next. I choose a word to represent each theme, and I write the words on a sticky note.
For 2018, my words were Flywheel, Inquire, Write, and Wall. (I also write sporadically on my blog. You can read about why I picked those words here.)
For 2022, I think one of my words will be Ask. Let me explain.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your ability to ask good questions?
For me, it depends on the context.
I get paid to ask good questions. A substantial component of my work as a researcher is to develop questions that will help me get a sense for how someone understands a concept or how they experienced a particular event. Sometimes my questions allow me to hear stories of deep joy and gladness. Sometimes my questions elicit painful memories and answers obscured by heavy sighing, even tears. Other times, my questions yield only numerical responses that have to be counted and analyzed in order to hear the story the data tells.
Crosland Stuart, of Crosland & Company, LLC, works with The Collaborative
on vocational guilds and content creation. Additionally, she also works in the areas of
foundation consulting, communications, and is a literary agent.