Ask a fundamental question
In a typical conversation, 90% of the time we make statements and 10% of the time we ask questions. We often consider communicating our thoughts as a supremely enjoyable learning experience. And if we do ask questions, then these questions are often statements in disguise. Personally, I prefer the opposite: I allow my thinking to be influenced by co-creating conversations through questions. That’s how I try to create a ‘circular vision’.
However, sometimes we do not have the time to start lengthy discussions with a question-answer-question pattern. Sometimes, we just want the other party to think more before starting a discussion. You can force them to do so by asking them a specific type of question: a fundamental question. A fundamental question is a question about things that everyone else takes for granted. These type of questions often surprise people.
Imagine a colleague coming to you with this message: "We need more innovation!" You have two options to react to this statement. Either you immediately start a discussion or you shoot a fundamental question: what does innovation mean to you? Imagine someone saying: "I want more work-life balance". Ask them: what is work-life balance for you? So with fundamental questions, you question assumptions. You question the very definition of words that others take for granted. And in this way, you simply force people to think deeper before losing your precious time in a discussion or a conversation that leads to nowhere.
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