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How do you get the best out of smart people?

Questions are at the core of how we listen, behave, think, and relate

When the pressure is on in fast-paced environments, sometimes we don’t take the time to ask our colleagues questions in the right way. This will cost much more than you think!

In my experience the way you ask questions determines the answer you get, and provides either frustration or solutions, and that's the cost you end up paying if you don't ask the right question.

How do you get the best out of smart people?

This becomes more relevant, or more costly when you have to work with a group of very smart people, engaged in solving complex challenges. Delivering bespoke software solutions is one of these scenarios. 

Software developers, typically classified as smart people, (of course I am biased), often have pretty specific preferences for how they get work done. And when the pressure is on, and we are heads down, trying to get stuff done, we lose the "learner" mindset and switch to the "judger" mindset.  

This became clear to me recently when I read a book called Change Your Questions, Change Your Life  by Dr Marilee Adams.

My business coach recommended it to me when I told them I felt my "judger" mindset was causing issues in terms of other people’s growth and untimately the teams' performance. 

It's worse when you do it to yourself

The cost of having a "judger" mindset to the team, project, the business, the client is one thing (which everyone should be worried about) but the cost of critisising yourself with a "judger" mindset is a whole different level. Long-term impact on your mental health, the barrier that it will be to your career progression and the lost opportunites of having fun while making a huge impact and potentially leaving a great legacy behind.

I’ve recommended this book to lots of my friends and coworkers (no, I’m not earning commission sadly) and it has made everyone adjust their mindset for the better.

Do I want to judge, or learn?

So if you are leading a developement team, or are part of a project team, next time before you ask a question, first think – do I want to judge, or learn? The question you will ask afterwards will be totally diffetent.

Also, be kind to yourself and buy this book