Questions. I have a reputation, I admit it.

When a friend or family member or anyone else is facing a challenging situation, say being hospitalized, or researching a car purchase, people expect me to ask a lot of questions.

There are people who inquire for the purpose of delaying or avoiding a decision. In my own life, in jobs I’ve held, and in situations in life, I have learned the power of asking the right questions. As a result, they have sometimes catapulted me to the catbird’s seat.

I also ask a lot of questions, because sometimes the people and systems we depend upon, cannot always be relied upon to give you just the right information.



When Questions Matter

We live in a society where bad business decisions can be forgiven through the bankruptcy system. Student loans? Not so much.

Earlier this month, ProPublica recounted the story of the mother of a murdered student, who was slapped by the State of New Jersey with a bill for her son who never even made it to College.

Today, they reported that a manager at the same agency has expressly forbidden staff to tell callers about relief available. If the borrow doesn’t happen to know that help is available, too bad. What a travesty. Of course, the loan agency denied that this is in keeping with their practices, but had no proof to back up the claim that it won’t happen again.


Asking with Purpose

Many years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a book called, “The 7 Powers of Questions.” It still stands out in my mind as one of the best books I’ve ever owned. What I learned:

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Asking good questions comes with practice. It doesn’t have to be done in a way that the person you’re questioning feels interrogated. Phrase them in a conversational manner.

Good questions are essential when you are dealing with important decisions in life. This is especially true when you question people who can give you the right answers.

Happy questioning!