Friday, March 07, 2014

Everyone knows about the mobile messaging app that sold for $19 billion. But have you heard about another amazing app—the one that helps you figure out what to do whenever you’re faced with a problem or a challenge? Doesn’t matter if it’s a business issue, a career decision, or a family dilemma: if you’ve mastered this app, you’re ready to tackle the problem. Did I mention it can also help you come up with brilliant ideas? Which increases your chances of success? And may lead to wealth and happiness?

Here’s the best news about this app: you don’t have to acquire it, because you were born with it. The “app” in question is our aptitude for asking questions.
You can see this natural ability on full display in the average 4-year-old—for whom questioning is as normal as breathing, and almost as important. Constant inquiry helps young kids make sense of, and successfully navigate, the strange new world around them.

Studies show we tend to hit our questioning peak around age 4 or 5, and then ask fewer questions as we get older. Not that we’ve lost the ability to question—we just don’t exercise it as much. Teachers and bosses generally want answers, not questions.

But it’s a mistake to let that inquiry “app” go unused. Questioning can do as much for adults as for kids—helping us to explore, discover, and innovate. It’s no accident that many innovators and entrepreneurs are great questioners who use thoughtful inquiry to navigate uncertainty and find their way to breakthrough ideas and big payoffs. A number of the billion dollar tech start-ups, from Instagram to Nest, sprang from insightful questions raised and tackled by the founders.

So how do you get better at questioning?
Keep reading at the link.