Embrace the Questioning Mindset
SOLUTIONS – Krishna C. Kalva
The right questions can lead to the right solutions
I have always been fascinated by questions. Questions trigger thoughts in our minds and make us wonder why things are the way they are. In my experience, I have noticed that asking the right questions triggers a thought pattern that motivates people to participate in finding a solution.
Our collective thoughts combined with different possibilities to analyze a challenge makes the journey exciting and rewarding. I believe that we all participate in the experience of analyzing a situation or a question in our lives. Through participation, we identify and apply certain questioning patterns to better understand the details of the underlying challenge and gain clarity.
By applying a questioning mindset, we start to believe that the way we respond to a challenge is more powerful than the challenge itself.
Challenges & Opportunities
In business life, we all experience different challenges. It could be related to strategy, project, sales, technology, etc. Each challenge is at the same time a unique opportunity that motivates us to question the status quo and take an approach driven by creativity and relevance to arrive at the solution.
For example, when there is a project-related challenge due to a delayed milestone, one of the immediate priorities is to understand its impact on other interconnected milestones and on the overall project. There could be multiple ways to address the delayed milestone and put the project back on track.
As we come together in solving a project challenge, we start to question every detail by closely analyzing it. Through analysis, we intrinsically benefit from the experience of questioning to understand why it is the way it is. We begin to identify what was out of order and what needs to be done to fix it.
Though the objective is to make the project healthy, ultimately it is the positive outcomes derived from our thought-provoking questions at every hurdle that make the whole experience unique and fulfilling. The outcome of this exchange can be positive and inspiring only when there is a trusted space created for free speech and actions with no fear of failure.
Culture of Curiosity
A similar approach can be applied within organizations by establishing a culture of curiosity wherein employees are empowered to openly discuss ideas, challenges and experiences, as that ultimately drives in building trust toward each other. Questions can act as trigger points for thoughts and should be embraced and facilitated for a healthy and result-oriented discussion.
There is no dedicated ownership required in facilitating a dialogue. In fact, each one of us have the intrinsic ability to take the lead and co-create a culture for open dialogue. Taking support from management acts as a guiding force to indulge in these conversations.
The key message to keep in our minds is how to become more skillful in questioning and analyzing, as it can drive us to have a fruitful discussion.
Let’s focus back on the original idea, the importance of questions in search for the right answer. We must not forget the importance of allowing our collective minds to reflect upon our individual thoughts, sharing with each other without prejudice and then jointly identifying a direction.
Thoughts come and go, and as we sit with them, we must consider whether the questions we ask lead to a yet-undefined better outcome or not. It is the relevance and the skillfulness of the questioners’ mindset that will lead us toward the desired result on this journey.
Krishna C. Kalva is learning solution manager at Siemens Healthineers. Email him