Question Everything

BKBG Business Blog,

Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask…for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in five minutes.” 

A challenge for many kitchen and bath showroom professionals is having the confidence to ask multiple questions.  Some questioning may not occur for fear of being viewed as not smart…not wanting to be at the receiving end of, “that’s the dumbest question I ever heard.”  Others don’t want to be viewed as lazy, being accused of the lack of initiative to find answers by asking Google.   

Showroom owners can help team members overcome their question insecurity by providing a safe haven to ask.  Asking questions helps build confidence and also provides a runway for people to admit shortcomings and recognize mistakes.  Owners can lead by example by challenging their team members to ask what needs to get done, what is possible and how much can you do?   

People who ask lots of questions are naturally curious.  They want to find answers and most often are open to different perspectives.  Owners who ask lots of questions are more likely to succeed.  You may want to follow a tactic from the former Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center who would challenge leaders to ask 50 questions about a problem.  This iterative approach can get you closer to Einstein’s goal of identifying the right question to reach the answer you need.   

Using questions to help team members solve problems or address challenges is another effective leadership tool.  If a team member asks for advice, ask what they think they should do before offering your opinion.  Doing so puts the responsibility for solving the problem on the team members and positions your role as sounding board.   

Questioning should be a two-way street in the showroom.  Owners should create a comfort zone for their team to question them.