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about asking lots of questions

Things I’m learning about asking lots of questions:

I’ve found it’s a pretty good way to live life.

Becoming excellent at asking the right questions can be a powerful tool, used to learn, communicate ideas, connect with others, and build relationships.

Asking questions provides an opportunity to understand your: peers, customers, bosses, employees, parents, children, friends, enemies, competition, partners, and more.

I’ve learned that asking questions with an authentic and intentional purpose of understanding and clarity is important enough to me to merit practicing regularly.

With flawless execution, asking questions can even be an opportunity to help others understand themselves.

about knowing what you want.

Things I’m learning about knowing what you want:

There’s a lot of people in life who don’t.

That can be dangerous.

Beyond ourselves, consider: clients, partners, friends, stakeholders, team members. Have you ever met or worked with someone who seemed impossible to please? An unhappy customer, boss, or significant other?

Were expectations communicated clearly, or were there assumptions made, details ambiguous? If the former, we may be in the wrong. If the latter, well, we may also be wrong.

How can you hope to please someone who doesn’t know what they’re after?

I’ve learned that it’s far easier to lean in to that problem, to anticipate it. I’d much prefer to expect and plan for it than the alternative.

As I’ve done so, it’s been a rewarding experience to work on clarifying my processes and to think strategically regarding this optimization problem.

Know what you want (and what you don’t). Communicate this clearly and frequently. Anticipate that other’s won’t. I believe this is an essential skill; a prerequisite to becoming a truly extraordinary leader. As such, that means it can be learned and can be practiced. Like many things, practice makes perfect.