There are few things more attractive to me than a genuinely curious question.
I’ve had a fantastic week of getting together with old friends, mentors, new friends, and talking about our lives over a good meal. Instead of allowing the to-do lists of things to get done, errands to run, and emails to respond to taking up my mental real estate, I’ve chosen to be present with these cherished individuals. Fully engaged in the moment. Eye contact, allowing my senses to feel everything the present moment had to offer.
I’m also asking questions that allow me to learn more about the other person no matter how long we've been in relationship together. Questions that inform me simply about who they are and what feeds them. I ask and I learn.
My favorite questions to ask others recently are:
What is your biggest current challenge?
What is inspiring you?
I have been amazed to hear the responses. Some have been unexpected, and that’s a good thing. That helps me recognize again and again that I don’t ever really know what someone is facing unless I’m curious and ask without expectation or assumption of the response. It’s a choose your own adventure novel being written in real time. I’ve grown in my capacity to learn from their experiences. I’ve learned how to be a better friend in support of them. I’ve also been faced with my own challenges and inspirations.
A good question is a gift to everyone involved. Take advantage of it. You just might learn something.