One of the things I love most about being around young children, is their passionate and fierce sense of curiosity.
It defines their genius. Why is the sky blue? Who discovered the world? How did the sun get so hot? Where did toothpaste come from? And my favorite: Are we there yet?
I’m not sure exactly when it happens, but somewhere between grade school and grad school we stop relishing in the question and start celebrating answers. I never want children (or adults) to underestimate the power questions hold; especially when asked of the right people at the right time.
One of my favorite lessons to teach, is the ”The Art of Asking Genius Questions”; taken right from the playbook of my curiosity mentor and coach, Albert Einstein.
The goal of the lesson is to help students; big and small, understand that genius is not determined by the questions you are able to answer but rather the questions you are courageous enough to ask of yourselves and of the others you lead and serve.
I have found the following 12 Questions Most Important. They are the questions commonly asked by genius learners, genius leaders, genius teams and organizations, and with a little practice an be a part of your genius too.
These questions come in no particular order, but each will flex your “question-asking muscles” in a way that promises to grow your strength and courage in pursuing solutions to those you lead and serve.
1. How can we make it /each other better?
2. How do we know this to be so?
3. Is this what is needed most?
4. What is it we hope to accomplish and what’s stopping us?
5. What are we most proud of?
6. What is possible?
7. When can we start?
8. How will we prevent failure?
9. Who/how can we make this happen?
10. What do we regret most?
11. How can we make the best use of…?
12. What if we…(Dream big!)
If it has been a while, since your classroom or boardroom has been filled with conversations beginning this way, there are experts in our midst ready and willing to show us how it’s done:
You are on the brink of brilliance, but like every great innovator, inventor, ideator and initiator…you must practice your genius.
Your homework this week will be to give each of these questions a try. Don’t be afraid to ask new questions, and more importantly don’t be afraid to surround yourself with individuals brave enough put the answers to use. The possibilities are endless.
Angela Maiers is an award-winning educator, speaker, consultant and professional trainer known for her work in literacy, leadership and global communications. She is a consistently energized and recognized worldwide speaker greatly impacting leadership through not only the education field, but the international business community as well. Challenging educational philosophies and business ethics, Angela strives to achieve total synergy and unstoppable energy by reconstructing the thought process of many dated ideologies.