The Power of Second Questions
“Most people never listen.” Hemmingway
“Questions are gifts. Asking, followed by listening, says others matter; telling says you matter.
Eager to talk is reluctant to ask.
Enemies of curiosity:
- Disinterest. You really don’t care.
- Need to appear smart.
- Hurry. The need for speed, at least initially, stifles curiosity.
- Knowledge. Those who know don’t ask.
- Answers. Answers end thought. …
Second questions matter more than first because they explore what matters. First questions address obvious issues. Second questions explore meaning, purpose, method, and/or value.
Exceptional leaders ask second questions.
First question: What’s your mission?
Second question: What makes your mission matter?
First question: Who are your customers?
Second question: What made them become your customers?
First question: What’s frustrating?
Second question: How can you address your frustrations?”