What question should I be asking?

How can I ask better questions?

I’ve come to realize that a lot of the “problems” or “unanswered issues” in my life can be solved if I know what question to ask. I feel that this “question-driven approach” has helped me focus on what it is that I want to solve and it keeps me accountable. The purpose of this essay is to think about how can I take advantage of this ‘insight’ in order to help me grow as an individual and live a happier life.

Although I don’t have an answer to that question, my current approach is that if I can ask better questions [input], then I can get better answers [output]. My output are questions and that output has properties including: speed, effectiveness, and level of self-awareness.

Dimensions of A Good Question

Asking better questions can help me increase my:

  1. Speed: Asking better questions can help me get to the root cause of my problem faster and consequently to a potential solution.
  2. Effectiveness: Asking better questions can help me address problems that I might have not been able to solve otherwise because I didn’t have the right approach/framework to solve the problem.
  3. Self-Awareness: Asking better questions can help me understand myself better because by asking questions about my problems I am able to understand what matters to me and what shapes me as a person.

If asking better questions can help me improve the way I solve problems across these three dimensions, then maybe I can try to optimize my questions in order to improve one of these three areas. For example, maybe I want to get really good at getting to the core of my problem really fast so I will over-index on speed rather than effectiveness or self-awareness in order to get to an answer faster. This assumes that these variables are interdependent and maybe even indirectly proportional to one another (if speed increases then effectiveness decreases). This doesn’t have to be the case but it is still too early for me to tell.

For me the next step is to do some research on ways of being able to ask better questions. If you have any suggestions please feel to reach out!