There Are No Dumb Questions

Pointy-Haired Boss: Can I ask a dumb question?

Dilbert: There are no dumb questions.

Pointy-Haired Boss: When you delete software, where do all the ones and zeroes go?

Dilbert: I stand corrected.

Have you ever been subjected to one of those overly enthusiastic consultant type people where you waste a day “brainstorming” or “bonding” or whatever the fad du jour is? Or, an overly enthusiastic teacher maybe? “Go ahead. There are no dumb questions. Class, don’t laugh. All questions are good.”

Gimme a break. 

We should all know that good leaders ask questions.

Curious people ask questions.

Students of whatever age can ask questions where the sole purpose is to divert the teacher/leader away from the topic.

There is actually an art that requires reflective practice to becoming a good questioner.

I think it is a spiritual discipline.

Jesus taught by asking questions (it was the Rabbi style of the time). Read the Psalms. Full of questions. Even Paul who seemed to know everything about everything asked question.

Interestingly, I was way down this line of thinking this morning when I took a break and scanned email (I know, a bad thing to do). But I see Jon also thinking about questions. Jon’s one of those guys who asks good questions. You can’t blow them off without thinking. Check him out.

Today he asks, what do you ask God. 

Hmm. Do we approach God intentionally? Or do we just shoot up thoughts?

Thanks, Jon. Now I know what will be on my mind today.

Meanwhile, the thing about no dumb questions lies in intent. Do we ask questions to learn? A leader asks people in the organization about their ideas and dreams and how’s it going. Learners read something or hear something and ask hundreds of questions–how do you know that, what do you mean, what’s the definition of that word, who was involved, when did all that happen, why should we care, where did it take place.

Rudyard Kipling:

I KEEP six honest serving-men

 (They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When 

 And How and Where and Who.

One Response to “There Are No Dumb Questions”

  1. Eoin Ó Riain (@ReadoutSignpost) Says:

    There is the story told about Thomas Aquinas as a child asking a question of his teacher which got him into trouble. His question was the most basic that can be asked and spent the rest of his life trying to answer it… “Why is God?”

    When somebody (as they do) insists that things started with a “big bang” I have to ask the question, “What banged?” and “Why?” and it leads me back to the question of Thomas…

    I might add the following to Kiplings lines…”and the greatest of these is ‘Why!'”

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