Second questions

By Dan Rockwell via Leadership Freak Blog   Article

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:

  1. Disinterest. You really don’t care.
  2. Need to appear smart.
  3. Hurry. The need for speed, at least initially, stifles curiosity.
  4. Knowledge. Those who know don’t ask.
  5. Answers. Answers end thought. …

Second questions:

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?”


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