The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Asking the right questions

People with a long experience in leadership often find themselves in a position in which they have trained themselves to be able to give an answer in any situation they encounter. It is how they have been taught to exercise leadership. It is how they feel safest as leaders.

In doing so, they meet other people’s expectations.

And people often step into these very same expectations by asking others for advice. There is greater ease and security in reaching out for help and asking others to step in.

I remember how I learned to be respectful towards the elder and trust their greater wisdom. It is an idea I continuously see appearing in groups, those who feel less experienced than others hesitate to join the group.

That’s because advice has come to be the way to show that one knows.

But maybe, that’s not what the wisdom of the elder is about.

Listening to the chairman of a board today I was reminded of the power of questions. She was sharing how she had encountered some problems with her pay in her first job. Looking for support, she had called her mother to share how bad her situation felt. Till today, she remembers how a simple question from her mother empowered her and helped her realize that she too could solve the problem.

Her mother had simply asked: “Honey, what do you want me to do about it?”



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