What percent of spoken sentences are questions? How does this rate change with age? How does this rate vary based on personality, gender, level of education, or even time of day? Questions are the engine of curiosity and the fuel for understanding, innovation, and social connections. We need to ask more of them from the day we are born to the day we die.
So why are questions so important? Six obvious reasons:
- Education: At their core, questions are the basis for learning and understanding new concepts (as well as confirming one’s understanding of a particular concept).
- Advancement: Beyond the education of localized individuals, questions push the advancement of society at a regional and global scale, motivating large groups to build upon answers of the past to find new truths about life and living.
- Creativity: Some questions, no matter how tangential they may be to a core topic, are the sparks for creativity and innovative thought for both individuals and groups (no matter how large).
- Connections: Questions create dialogue and are two-way (and often multi-way) streets that create bonds between people.
- Assessment: Questions are tools through which one can gain a remarkable amount of information on an individual – seeing how they react and respond to certain situations – to determine fit for friendship, collaboration, leadership, or even love.
- Identity: Questions do not need to be spoken, but often are the most powerful when internalized in an effort to formalize one’s beliefs, attitudes, and values.
- Learn to Ask Better Questions (Harvard Business Review)
- Questioning Improves Your Learning if You Ask the Right Questions (Global Cognition)
- The Role of Questions in Teaching, Thinking, and Learning (The Critical Thinking Community)
- Learning to Ask the Right Question (Forbes)