Here’s nonsense at work with a trick question. When you ask a question, do you know what you will do with the answer? Often knowing what you will do depends on why you are asking the question. The aim with some of our questions is to extract the answer we already know we want. Other questions we ask because of what we don’t know, but know we want to know.
As a manager, what is more important, the right answer or the right question? Management is about action today, solving problems and rapid results. This makes the right answer more valuable.
Leadership is about future uncertainty — the more options you have to explore the better. Now the right question, the one that triggers different answers, is more valuable.
You will ask the right question when you know the type of answer you need because you know what you will do with it.