Stop looking for better answers and start asking better questions

Stop looking for better answers and start asking better questions

At some point in our careers, we'll likely experience an inflection point, i.e., an event that changes the way we think and act. When these intensely challenging moments happen for whatever reason, the conditions we work in or the expectations placed on us are fundamentally altered that, if we don't adapt, we will fail.

When hitting this career inflection point, it is common to feel inadequate, and coming up with the right answers to our problems becomes more challenging. As leaders, we use skills and strategies that yielded great results in the past, but those same skills and strategies often don't solve the new problems of the present.

To adapt to change, we need to stop investing so much energy in coming up with better answers and start asking better questions, such as:

Where should my focus be?

What does it mean to provide leadership?

Do I apply old strategies to new initiatives?

In other words, you cannot arrive at useful solutions unless you first diagnose the real problems that are holding you back. It can be hard as, throughout our lives and careers, we're encouraged in every way to find accurate answers, but not necessarily to be posers of catalytic questions.

Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - 3 Ways Executives Can Manage Challenging Moments in Their Careers, by Hal Gregersen