The power of an inquisitive mind

Have you ever been to a presentation where no one asked any questions? Imagine giving a speech on a topic you are passionate about, setting some time aside for questions, only to hear the audience stay silent.

It’s not completely your fault. Some of us grew up in fear of asking bad questions, but the truth is: asking questions is a good thing, and there are truly no bad questions. Today, we explore why we should all strive to be inquisitive.

“Questioning is the key to active and meaningful learning,” says Christine Chin in her article titled Students’ questions: Fostering a culture of inquisitiveness in science classrooms. Simply put, you can’t know what you don’t know until you ask. Discovery leads to knowledge, which we all seek — whether in a classroom or in a board room.

In business, and especially to those who value partnerships, asking questions is essential. It allows each of us to understand people, roles, and companies better. Most importantly, it enables us to make sure we are talking to the right person within an organization, or even the right organization within an industry. Inquisitive practices actually help us save time. The more we know, the better we can help.

It takes some practice, but all of us can train our minds to be more inquisitive. Active listening, paired with active questioning, helps keep any conversation engaging. Moreover, it sends a clear message that we care about what others have to say.

Will you make an effort to be more inquisitive?