The Value of Questions
What is the value of a question? Well strictly speaking, the realized value has far more to do with how it is received than what is actually asked, and factors beyond the control of the questioner will come into play in that regard. So timing can be as important as wording and the manner in which it is asked.
Try to quantify some of these in monetary terms.
The rhetorical question
The joking question
The incisive question
The personal question
Each can be lost or entirely profound.
The rhetorical question can spur conversation and wake up a slumbering ideas process
The joking question can lift a mood, which can certainly have a positive effect on any process
The incisive question can take a brilliant idea into a different stratosphere, change lives, change the future or encourage the question that will do one of these
The personal question, when delivered at the right time and with genuine empathy, can tell a person struggling in solitude that someone in the world cares and have the most profound effect of all
And yet each can sink into oblivion or have an effect opposite to the intent or hope of the questioner
Which brings me to one more type of question: The non-sequitur. Bernd Nurnberger’s question, asking how we might place coin value on questions falls into this category as it defies anything like an actual answer. But it’s value for me was that it got me thinking and inspired me to write this little piece. So thank you, Bernd!
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