It was my turn and I was excited. A group of brilliant, creative, generous people all waiting. Listening. Eager to help.
And then. Then I asked the wrong question.
I was prepared. I’d thought about it beforehand, made some notes. I was ready. And then, my chance came and I asked.
I thought it was a good question. The right one. But after the first person responded, I knew it was the wrong one.
Upon reflection, I understand now why so much time is put into framing the problem for a hackathon. The power of a good question became obvious.
But here’s the thing. The question I asked wasn’t a bad question. And the answers I received were spot on for it. No, more than that, they were brilliant answers. Just not the ones I needed.
This happens a lot. In one to one discussions or groups. And very often in presentations. Sometimes the best thing to do is to interrupt and reframe the question. Other times, we need add to our question the answers we don’t want. But sometimes, we need to go with the other on a journey. A journey expecting both the first question and the answers not to be right ones and so we ask ‘and what else’ regularly to move us beyond the ‘icebreaker’ into the real issue.