Questions signal a vacuum of knowledge that demands to be filled. Just as Aristotle’s idiom ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ applies to the physical world, so it applies to our cognitive worlds. Questions are divergent – they open up possibilities and potentialities. Answers shut them down, filling the void.
Questions demand answers and their power to compel a response can be heard in any interview. Although the interviewee may well evade the question, or answer another of their choosing, rarely do they resort to silence.
Without questions, dialogue mutates into monologue; enquiry becomes instruction.
There are many different forms of questions but here we examine four questions that have the power to shift perspectives and to open minds to a larger reality:
How does that feel?
Usually associated with therapy, this question asks the listener to shift their attention from thinking to feeling. Many, including leaders in positions of great power and responsibility, are not in touch with their feelings and frequently respond to this question by describing what they are thinking. Yet, counter to popular belief, we do not make decisions – any decision – on the basis of thinking. All choices are feeling-based – bar none.