Wouldn’t it be great to have all the answers? Imagine knowing everything there is to know about every subject. You’d be the life of every party, spouting out information whenever anyone asked anything. You’d also rule the business world with all your incredible knowledge about various business fundamentals. Yeah, it would be great.
Or, would it?
Socially, no one likes a know-it-all. Most people find it comical when someone acts like they have the answers to everything. The best example of a know-it-all would be Cliff Claven from the television series Cheers. (How’s this for feeling old? Cheers went off the air 20 years ago!) Cliff had an answer to every question… even if he made up most of them!
In business, being a know-it-all can lead to irrelevancy. When you have all the answers, you end up doing things the same way you’ve always done them, even when those actions no longer work. The “business graveyard” is full of companies that were led by know-it-alls.
True business innovation, creativity and success come not from knowing all the answers, but from asking the right questions. When we ask the right questions we discover true wisdom and learn powerful principles that will lead to owning a successful company.
Notice I didn’t say, “When we ask questions ….” I said, “When we ask the right questions …” Far too many business owners ask questions that really don’t get to the heart of their business. Here are some examples of the types of questions many business owners ask:
- How can I make more money?
- How can I motivate my employees to work harder?
- When will I ever get a day off?
I’m not suggesting that these are bad questions. They’re actually very honest questions. But those questions won’t bring you to a place where creativity and innovation are unleashed. They might get you started down the path to the right questions, but unfortunately, most business owners get discouraged when they can’t figure out the answers to these questions, so they never dig deeper until they get to the right questions.
Asking the right questions
That’s where a business coach comes in. Good business coaches are always asking questions. They’re always reading, studying, learning. As a result, when you sit with a business coach, you sit with a “trained questioner.” Business coaches have learned to ask the right questions and they help owners ask those important questions about their own business.
What are those questions? Here are three:
- What happened in the past that brought success or failure?
- What’s missing that can help bring you where you want to go?
- What’s next for your business? Where do you want to go and why?
There are many other good questions that business owners should be asking about their company, but those three are a great start.
So, what questions are you asking?