Are You Asking The Right Question?

Last week, I started reading my first book on leadership – “Quiet Leadership – Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work”.

As described in the book, the first step towards improvement is to Think About Thinking. That reminds me of the story of a friend who was thinking about quitting his job. On a regular day, he tells all the stories how much he loves his job and how much he enjoys working there. But he wants to leave because he wasn’t able to give enough time to his family. He has a deep affection for his family. He loves playing with his kids and cooking for his family. However, because of his work, he has to spend extra hours in the office, or sometimes he brings work along with him, resulting into, he wasn’t able to spend enough time with his family and do all the things which he enjoys. Quitting his job was one of the options, but it will only increase the financial burden on his family.

After a few months, when I met him, he was happier than ever before. I thought he must have quit his job, but he didn’t. He said he found a way around.

When he dug deeper into the situation, he realized that on an average he used to spend 3 to 4 hours every day to commute in his car from home to office and vice-versa. It was the travel time, which was the real culprit, not his job. He ditched his car and started travelling via taxi. Although, It is not a financially sound decision but definitely a better choice than quitting. All that time which he used to waste while driving, now, he can sit in the backseat and do the office work or make few phone calls which he used to do in the office. Which means he has an additional 3 hours, he is less tired and can work more efficiently. He doesn’t have to stay late in the office. That saved up a lot of time for him. Now he spends that time with his family and does things which he enjoys the most.

That got me thinking about the questions which I ask myself daily in my personal and professional life. Am I asking the right questions? Albert Einstein said it very well – “If I had an hour to solve a problem, and my life depends on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask.”

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