“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask is a fool for ever.”

(Chinese proverb)

It is interesting how quickly we tire of a child asking questions. I always know when that is happening to me. I tend to answer “because” or “I said so”. How much opportunity for developing a relationship and deeper understanding do I lose when that is my response to a curious question?

I am frequently amazed at the information I can learn by asking a few questions and then listening to the answers and responses. At times I become impatient and do not allow adequate time for the response to my question. When I do not listen, I do not learn. When I do not learn it is difficult to understand. To build a culture of inquiry and learning, we must learn to ask the probing questions and have the patience to hear and really listen to the answer.

As you reflect on the culture of your family and your family business, are you open to the difficult questions? Are you willing to listen to the answers?

How are we teaching the next generation to ask good questions?

What questions does your business family avoid?

How does your business family nurture questions for understanding?

“Judge a man by his questions, not by his answers.”

What are your questions?


Read more