Better thinking

questions hands
Dazed by rhetoric, sounds bites, and  confusing messages?
Figuring out what is going on can be done: by learning to ask better, deeper, sharper questions.
Yet, no one teaches us how to ask – what exactly to ask, whom and what to question. Here is a simple guide.
No one teaches us how to ask Questions. Everyone is constantly focused on our answers.

Most guides to decision-making focus on project management or people management skills. Yet, the core of clear decision-making is, undoubtedly, problem-solving. Without excellence in problem-solving, the task- and people-management skills – as important as they are – will not shed light on the issues! This is how to recognize and practice skillful problem-solving.

How can you tell world-class problem-solving from sloppy, incomplete or inaccurate work?



My brain seems to be going a million miles an hour, every hour. It is constantly busy. I cannot find peace, it bothers me.

Is there a way to stop this? Is it any good anyway?

The good news is, the answer is yes. There is a way. The bad news is that it takes work. Effort. Until you make it a habit (See here about habits).

  • My brain is firing constantly because that is what brains do. It’s a muscle.
  • What I am really after though, is some relief. A destination. Some point where there is meaning, not noise.

A useful brain is a disciplined brain. The other kind is just torture.

The point of thinking is action. Unless we target an action – decisions! –  all our thinking has zero impact. Focus your mind away from mindlessless and towards decisions.
Thinking is a much revered activity. We do a lot of it. So we should really ask the ask the Question:

What is the point? In other words, what comes out of all this thinking? What should come out of all this thinking?
Take a moment to think about that… 🙂


Fareed Zakaria Liberal EducationCNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who has one of the most thoughtful programs on TV (CNN Sunday mornings!), has just published a new book, “In Defense of Liberal Education”.

His main fear is that the current trend away from the 4-year liberal arts college education (set in motion by the Great Recession, and rationally supported by the ballooning college price tag), will create a nation of graduates who cannot quite think, write, or speak with clarity and conviction.


The counterpoint, of course, is that the country needs engineers and scientists urgently and in numbers. So, if highschoolers keep choosing history, English, and arts majors, where will the STEM competency come from?

I completely agree with the point. And with the counterpoint. And when that happens, I know that we must not be asking the right questions…

Is the problem really that high school graduates choose liberal arts over science? Is this the reason that we don’t have STEM-competent employees in the workplace?

Or is it, that given the level of high-school math and science our students get, it is mostly impossible to get into an engineering or science major, or even, to be excited about math and physics?!



Opinions are not facts. Don’t use them as such. Opinions are personal, they make everything personal, and shut out nuanced views. Try to probe for any unconsciously known facts that may be hiding behind an expressed opinion. If not there, rethink your position.
  • “I think this will be a great, large market for us”
  • “I think Jim will make a great VP”
  • “We cannot withhold the bonus from the engineering team this year”
  • “Our shipping costs are killing us”