A while back I wrote this short post entitled The Secret to Unlearning in Seven Words. The seven words are "Give up on answers. Stay with questions."
I just finished reading a wonderful article from Clayton Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life? In it, he writes this:
"When people ask what I think they should do, I rarely answer their question directly. Instead, I run the question aloud through one of my models. I’ll describe how the process in the model worked its way through an industry quite different from their own. And then, more often than not, they’ll say, “OK, I get it.” And they’ll answer their own question more insightfully than I could have."
My take-a-way is this: Instead of trying to supply people the answers, people (and this is especially true of business consultants) would be better-off sticking with questions.
Because the right questions can — and will — help people come up with the best answer(s) themselves.
Stay with questions!