The issue is not the questions we ask.
The issue is knowing the right questions to ask, at the right time, and about the right things.
If you don’t know what the right questions are to ask because you don’t understand what’s happening in a conflict situation, then just blindly questioning isn’t a sign of curiosity.
It’s a sign of foolishness.
If you don’t know what the right time to ask a question is, because you don’t understand timing, don’t care about it, or are in a hurry to score a rhetorical point, then just shouting out a question isn’t a sign of resistance or “speaking truth to power.”
It’s a sign of poor intuition.
If you don’t know what the right things are to question, because you lack the knowledge, the time, the resources, or the emotional energy to do the research to find out about the background of the topic area you are questioning, then the act of questioning isn’t a form of discovery.
It’s a sign of lack of preparation.
Three ideas here can help for knowing the right questions to ask, at the right time, and about the right things:
- Be curious but not naïve—or blind.
- Chase intuition, then facts, then knowledge and wrap that around persuasion.
- Don’t ever ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.
And one extra: If asked a question, answer it honestly, truthfully, kindly, but firmly and with conviction.