When we are growing up, particularly around the early years of our life, we ask many many questions. Nearly everything we say is in the form of a question, usually the question each time is why. As adults around children these questions can become exasperating as times as they are endless. There are even times when children are told to stop asking questions. For children why questions support them to understand how the world works, giving them an understanding of their context. As we move into being adults the question why seems to stop happening. We seem to move towards telling rather than asking. We tend to want to express what we know not to find out more. This is very sad indeed. Why questions open up our minds to learning and understanding more. They foster critical thinking skills and they promote communication and relationship building. It seems crazy not to ask why questions.
Last year Gemma Elwin Harris released a book called “Big questions from little people and simple answers from great minds.” The very concept is quite interesting. In the book children ask questions like ‘do animals have feelings, why can’t i tickle myself and who is God” , all of these great conceptual questions. Yet I wonder as adults whether we ever ask these kind of questions. I wonder if we bring together people who enjoy discussing conceptual questions to really develop and grow our thinking. Imagine meeting with a small group of people once a month to have a stimulating conversation just asking why questions.
Also imagine asking more why questions at work so that you build relationships and increase communication. You will gain so much from the experience.