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Affluent Christian Investor | December 4, 2023

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Why Good Questions are Your Greatest Asset

Hamlet mistakenly stabs Polonius by Coke Smyth

I never liked Shakespeare growing up – his literary style was too hard for me to understand.  Yet, he once wrote something that I value. Consider this line from Polonius in Hamlet:

“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”

Polonius is referring to one of our most important assets – asking questions. We need to listen first so we have the information required to ask great questions.  At a recent conference I attended in California, I saw this played out.  This was a global conference for individuals who have a passion for stewarding what has been entrusted to them by God.  Many in the group invest their time, talents, and treasures to grow God’s kingdom.

Portions of the conference allowed time for panel discussions amongst like-minded attendees. The goal of the moderated sessions was to highlight the wisdom of the panelists.  During one session, the moderator did an excellent job of asking questions that brought out the deeper things we needed to hear.

This reminds me of an experience with my prior employer, where we sought to start an affinity group of Christian advisors. When our request was rejected, I asked our Vice-President, “Why can’t we – our competitors can?” Soon after, our group began.

The ability to ask the perfect question is one of our greatest assets.  If we want to be successful with others, we must ask pertinent questions motivated by a desire to understand.  What precedes the perfect question is the ability to listen to one another.  James 1:19 says:

“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak…”


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