This past weekend, I was speaking with a group of business professionals. At this event, it is protocol for the speaker to come with 4-5 relevant questions to be used for table discussion.

I decided to try a new approach.

As typical, I presented for about 40 minutes. When it came time for table discussion, I told the group that I had brought no questions, but rather challenged them to use the time to discern what questions my presentation brought to mind for them. I asked them to sit quietly to individually think of their own questions.

I then asked them to simply share their questions with each other without discussing reactions, thoughts, answers. Just question upon question, upon question. My hope was that one question might spurn another question. But only questions.

What do you think I heard when the exchange began? Quickly, at most tables, the exchange became discussion rather than simply a presentation of questions. It reminded me how much we want to get to solutions, opinions, reactions … rather than deepen our wisdom and understanding by simply digging deeper from one question to the next.  Questions that don’t have to be immediately answered. More likely marinated a bit.

I give the group a lot of credit. In the end, I collected some really good questions from each table. It is an exercise that I will do again and again. And with the questions collected, I will let the marinate in my mind, heart and soul for a while. In the months to come, I will use them to stimulate blog posts to come.

When it comes to digging for your core values … what thoughtful question comes to your mind? Questions only please!  🙂