The longest, most uncomfortable silence in history

Yesterday, at work, I asked a group of people some questions that caused the longest, most uncomfortable silence in history” according to one attendee. Causing that silence, and the resulting conversation was the best thing I’ve contributed to work all week. Possibly all month.

That moment and conversation came about not because I have a list of go-to questions. I wasn’t about stumping or triggering someone. That’s a zero sum game. 1 winner + 1 loser = 0.

It was about being present and asking the right questions. Questions that challenged the way we do things. To probe for change. My improv teacher taught us that You have two eyes, two ears, one mouth. Use them proportionally”.

That works in a lot of areas of life, I think. If we want to go deeper, to explore, and observe, to look for change, can we do that while we’re talking?

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. Pierre Marc-Gaston