The blogosphere. The Twittersphere. The internet. Life in general. Many parallels can be drawn among these things, but the most prevalent (in my opinion) is the role played in each by questions. People are asking questions to pique interest. Questions are asked to gain knowledge. Communication, for the sake of clarity, is saturated with questions.
I answer questions throughout my day. I do my best to ask more questions than I attempt to answer. One of the people who asks me the most questions is…well, me. What is the best way to handle this? How could I best respond to that? You get the idea. Recently I was confronted with a question that pretty much blind-sided me. “What questions am I pretending aren’t there?”
Honestly, I wasn’t very thrilled with my answer. Sure I make tough decisions from week to week, but I found I also push some decisions to the background and justify it as something that should be addressed at a later date. I use rational arguments like “wisdom says I should get more info” and “there are good seasons and bad seasons to do certain things”. While these arguments are truisms, they weren’t as applicable to many of the questions that I was pretending weren’t there. At least not as much as I would like them to be.
I also took inventory of the impact of this on my personal and professional life, had I actually addressed these questions as they came up. Frankly, I was quite disappointed at the difference of what could be and what is. It was a real wake-up call for me. Many people may look at what I do and think, “Wow! Look at all that progress!”, but progress is completely relative. Others may not see the difference, but I do. I’m the face I see in the mirror each morning.
Are there areas in your business where you are pretending certain questions don’t exist? Not only do you know if you’re ignoring them, so do your peers and employees. I have yet to see anyone die from confronting a hard question. Is it uncomfortable? You bet! The thing that surprised me the most is how much I was over inflating the difficulty of things. Once I took action, that monstrously insurmountable question became a very manageable blip on my radar screen. That’s it.
Fear and ignorance have a way of distorting reality. Take the time and make the effort to smash those questions head on. If you fall on your face, so what. At least you know what doesn’t work sooner rather than later. What are some of the questions YOU have been pretending don’t exist?