• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Another take at unpacking the idea of ‘over-questioning’

I find so much good in the ‘sharing of ideas’; in that part of community where we can help each other ‘grow up in Christ’ as we ‘sharpen one another’ through robust dialogue.  Carolynfun-moving raised a question which led to some further ‘unpacking’ of an idea.

Then another person wrote back with what I felt were very insightful comments. In fact, I responded to this person by saying: “I think you did a way better job of expressing what I was trying to say in my original post.”

Here’s what that person in the World Team Global community wrote: “I appreciated Carolyn’s question, because it reminded me of my experiences as a critical/analytical thinker. Many people took my questions or critical comments, when all I felt I was doing was examining the issue. This happened more when I wrote than in face to face exchanges.  For me, there was no motivation to go after someone, no hidden agenda. The motivation was a questioning mind which wants see all possibilities, hindrances, watch for missing information etc. But this sometimes came across to those with other thinking styles as plain critical, or too perfectionist.

On the other hand, some people would realize what I was doing, and encourage others to listen, to hear me out. But when it comes to asking questions, there are ways to phrase and ask questions in an appropriate way. How we talk can sound like a know it all, arrogant and disrespectful.

One thing I know from myself, is that critical thinkers can come across as having all the questions and no solutions. I have had to learn to know the difference between tearing down and building up. Paul says knowledge puffs up; love builds up. That is the bottom line.”

What stood out to me, what ‘sharpened’ my thinking were three things.  First, the good reminder, said in another way, that asking lots of questions is not wrong.  Second, other people need to get involved in helping a group to receive well the input via questions of one member of the group. It’s a community project.  Finally, growth in self-awareness led this writer to ‘adapt’, to contextualize his questioning mind, in light of biblical principles to the need, growth and development of others.  Did he stop asking questions?  I don’t think so, but he obviously grew in knowing how to exercise
his ‘gift’ for the benefit of the group.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for today’s post. It answered my previous question. Two principles stood out to me: 1. there are ways to phrase and ask questions in an appropriate way and 2. critical thinkers can come across as having all the questions and no solutions.
    Asking questions has been on my learning radar screen since taking the Coaching class with Steve, Jacob and Bob M. It certainly is a skill that I desire to develop as when it has been used in my life it has had excellent results.

    • Learning to ask questions, good questions that elicit learning, is a skill we need to be constantly working on. I have noticed several in WT who have this ‘skill’ and from whom I need to learn.

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