The Power of Questions

Every day seems to offer a surprise in some way, shape, or form. A few days ago, I awoke to find an unexpected voicemail from a friend who owns a recording studio. When I called him back, he explained a technical problem that he was having with some gear and asked for my assistance in resolving the matter. He would typically have called his regular tech guy, but that guy is currently out of state producing a record for a popular heavy metal band (which I know is going to be amazing).

I’ll summarize by simply saying that I went in and worked with the in-house engineer to overcome the issue. I do enjoy troubleshooting! This raises a good point – recording studios seem to develop a soul of their own over time. They invariably like to create technical difficulties for the people responsible for operating the gear; especially (and most often) when there is a band waiting to record. The ability to troubleshoot and/or work around technical problems that arise in the studio under stressful situations (like when a band is breathing down someone’s neck and wondering where their money is going) is a gift that some people either do or do not have. Understanding gear is one thing, but being able to professionally manage a crisis situation and be a leader under adverse conditions is an entirely different set of skills.

To often, people tend to react to problems by sputtering negative comments. “Why is this piece of gear so crappy?” “Why can’t we fix this?” “How can I be so stupid?” What many people don’t realize is the power they have in the questions they ask. Negative questions like those can only hope to offer reasons to give up in defeat. They are poor questions. When we ask a better question, we get a better answer. “How can we find a way to make this gear work, and prevent this problem from happening again?” That’s a much better question that will actually help guide you toward finding a permanent solution. This is a technique that we can apply to every aspect of our lives, every day. There is great power in questions.

Have you recently overcame something by asking a great question? Maybe a question that no one else around you saw coming? Has there been a time where everyone around you seemed frustrated beyond return and ready to give up, yet you saw things in a different way and found an answer because you chose to ask a better question? Please share your stories here and spread the insight!


5 thoughts on “The Power of Questions

  1. This is something that I do all the time at work. Everyone here has such a negative attitude about things. I have to always remember to ask my questions in a positive manner simply because I get better answers that way. Sure, I’d love to be all negative and poke fun at everything as well, but that doesn’t get the work done any better or faster.

    I also totally agree that some people can do this very well and others will never be able to do it.


  2. Attitude has a lot to do with outcome. You are right, it’s not productive at all to get negative when faced with a problem. I learned to control my temper a long time ago, because I realized that it never helped the situation.


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