The most important thing

“You could find out most things, if you knew the right questions to ask. Even if you didn’t, you could still find out a lot.”

– Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games

The important thing is not that you ask the perfect question that will reveal everything or that the person you asked the question completely changes their view of the world. The important thing is that you ask questions, and listens to the answers. Then based on the answer you could ask another question and slowly get to the heart of the matter. Or you could choose to go and ask someone else questions.

Meaning is everywhere

“Meaning is everywhere. There is always meaning. Or at least all things show a disturbing tendency to have meaning ascribed to them when intelligent creatures are present. It’s just that there’s no final Meaning, with a capital M. Though the illusion that there might be is comforting for a certain class of mind.”

– Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

The human eye

“The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.”

– Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon

When we join a new organisation, we get a new role or become part of a new team we can easily see all the strange behaviours and norms that they have. After a while, the strange behaviors and norms seem to disappear, and we become blind to them as well.

As a manager or coach, we have an enormous challenge when we get new people on board. This first period is when people are least likely to give feedback, but it is also the time when we need to ask them for it.