Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. – Tony Robbins
What does that mean?
This is something most of us forget as we grow up. Little kids ask some of the best questions. That’s why they are so successful, that and they try harder and more often.
Success means different things to each of us, but success (rather than luck) requires information. It requires us to ask questions to get that information. That is the basis of this quote.
If you ask lousy questions, the answers you get won’t be very helpful. If you ask high quality questions, you will tend to get a higher quality answer. And better answers contribute to success.
Put another way, if you’re going to be successful, you have to get information. To get that information, you have to ask questions. The quickest way to get the best information is to ask the best questions of the right source.
Why is asking better questions important?
If you asked why gas prices are higher, you will probably get a very normal answer (government interference, greedy corporations). If you asked if they were higher due to a problem with the supply chain, you might find out that they will be higher for a few weeks, then be back to normal. That is more useful information.
If you trade on information, like stock brokers or business people, your success is tied to the quality of your information, which is tied to the quality of your questions. Asking general or broad questions gets you general or broad answers. Very specific questions get you very specific answers.
Start with general enough questions to understand the larger picture, then adjust your questions to drill down to the necessary level of detail. Be flexible in your questioning, because not everyone will know what you want. But sometimes you can get them to help point you in the correct direction, or help you find someone who may know more.
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. If you don’t know, it’s hard to make the best decisions. If you don’t make the best decisions, you’re not going to be as successful as you might hope. And everyone wants to be successful, at least by their definition.
Where can I apply this in my life?
We all have different definitions of success. But to get there, we have to get information. We can get information out of books, which can be useful, but is often very time consuming. There is also the question of the credentials of the author, and the accuracy of the text within.
We can also ask questions of people. That can get us answers very quickly, but you have to be precise with what you ask. Difference in definitions, cultures, or objectives can lead to answers which are incomplete at best and can lead to difficulties as we try to act on this information.
If you owned a restaurant, and someone made a face after taking a bite out of a new recipe you were trying, you’d want to ask them about it. If you asked “Do you like it?” would you get a useful answer? A much better question would be “Specifically, what about it didn’t you like?”
The first question will get you a dumb look or a “Oh, you noticed?” for a response. But you didn’t learn much, did you? The second question asks them for specific information. They may say that there is too much (or too little) spice in the dish. Now you have something to work with, right?
But what if you aren’t in the stock market, or you don’t have a business to run, what do questions mean to you? How about the favorite useless question, better called a grenade, “Are you mad at me?”
You’ll either get a yes, but you already knew that, or you’ll get a no, and you’ll be confused, because they certainly seem upset with you. That wasn’t a very useful question, was it? That is a prime example for family and friends.
At work, there are always questions. New policies or procedures, new people or new tasks. All of these things have questions attached to them, right? Your objective is to ask the questions which get you useful information in the shortest period of time.
How you go about forming better questions will depend on your personality and what kind of information is important to you. But we all have room for improvement. Next time you need to ask a question, make it a good one, OK?
From: Twitter, @ferbhinlor
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tonyrobbin173239.html
Photo by Benjamin Gray
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