Questions That Work: How to Ask Questions That Will Help You Succeed in Any Business Situation

By Andrew Finlayson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
QUESTIONS THAT WORK WHEN:
You Are Educating
Yourself

Much learning does not teach sense.

HERACLITUS

College graduates have dedicated some sixteen years to pursuing an education. Yet, once they enter the workforce, they often suddenly stop seeking further formal education. Why does this happen? Traditional learning focuses on young people, but, in our rapidly changing world, we cannot have a divide between work and learning. In workplace after workplace, more money is spent on the upkeep of machines than on staff education. There are exceptions; some companies make training and executive education a priority, but often these are cut when money gets tight. Learning how to ask questions can guarantee that you continue your education no matter what the corporate bottom line.

Education can be seen as the pursuit of ambition in the face of annihilation. Can you learn enough to become successful enough to defy the odds of failure and falling behind? Certainly, our view of the world is only as good as the lenses we use to look at it. If that lens is cloudy or narrowly focused, an organization won't get a clear picture of the world around it. Individual or corporate education is one of the best ways to sharpen that vision. Questions tap into the world's experience.

MBA students often learn by the case study method, which stresses the role of questions. The students study a scenario that ends with pointed questions and an aggressive Socratic dialogue. This type of inquiry creates in-depth discussions, challenges assumptions, and reveals new ways of thinking. We should all keep alive the spirit of learning, always questioning our own actions, exploring new options, and being skeptical of easy solutions. The best education gives us the ability to recognize changing circumstances and inspires questions to ask when circumstances change or you want to change your situation.

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