The power of questions & "what do you think?" in your career

When I first started working in the corporate world, I had a whirlwind of questions.


Most of my question were "how"- and "what"-based. How do I access that report? What does that abbreviation mean? How do I use an index-match formula? What do these numbers represent?


As I've progressed, these questions start to pop up less often. I know the how and I know the what.


But what don't I (at least fully)know? The why & the "what do you think?".


Once you have mastered what your job is and how to do it, start pushing yourself to understand why you are doing it. Who does your work go to? How do they use it? Why are the requesting this specific view? Why aren't they asking for something?


Asking these questions will help you build better quality deliverables. This will also help you to anticipate requests. Why are they requesting this report? Ah, because they need this specific split... They will probably want to see that yearly trend, so let me just include that too.


Along the way of questioning the why, keep in mind to ask the "what do you think?". Of course, you are going to naturally ask your boss what she/he thinks of the work you do. But do you ask your colleagues? Or teams that partner with you? If you are a manager, are you asking your employees?


Aristotle | The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Sure, Aristotle may have been speaking on meta-physics, but how true is it that our unique backgrounds and experiences create something beautiful when added together?!


I try to ask this to everyone I work with. When I ask the "what do you think", I find things I've never considered. I try to ask everyone, all the time.


You never know where that ground breaking idea is hiding. Ask everyone.


What questions guide you at work? Drop them below!