I believe in asking questions.
Questions expose hidden silver linings in a complex, messy world. They help us remain flexible, curious students. Questions give us hope, possibility and freedom. They give us permission to be creative and ponder new ways of thinking about old problems.
They help us define our dilemmas and articulate our perspectives.
Challenging our Assumptions
Thoughtful questions pique our interest and nudge, if not force us to step back and consider a more objective point of view.
As we sit perched high above our dilemma, we see the forest and we see the trees.
We catch our breath. We feel calm. We think clearly.
We challenge our assumptions, explore the bigger picture, and solve tough problems.
Challenging our assumptions and exploring the bigger picture is an intellectual exercise that requires objectivity and rational thought.
The amygdala, our “emotional brain,” is responsible for processing emotions, and responding to danger. It enables us to fight or flee when faced with a life-threatening situation.
In our modern world, these survival mechanisms can be triggered by non-life-threatening events that cause us to feel worried, stressed and overwhelmed. Amygdala responses are automatic reflexes that happen without thinking.
The Cerebral Cortex
Our cerebral cortex, on the other hand, is our “rational thinking” brain. It is responsible for complex reasoning and thought.
Using our thinking brain, we approach dilemmas with a maturity that is calming and productive.
Seeking Perspective and Insight
The mature us is reasonable, open, and non-judgmental. From this mature place, we share our points of view in matter of fact ways without feeling the need to convince others we are right.
Our thinking brain helps us remain focused, steady, and above the fray.
This is not a place for those seeking immediate gratification or a quick fix. This is a low drama place where different perspectives are welcome not dismissed or tossed aside. Here, we seek understanding, consider different points of view, have productive discussions, and solve tough problems.
AnaLia Medina, Founder of Kinteos Consulting, is an Organization Development Consultant & Executive Coach who specializes in studying the effect of chronic stress on group dynamics, employee productivity, decision making, and workplace morale.
She has a background as a business development professional and solutions consultant with 20+ years spent working with decision federal government leaders and key decision makers in the United States and in foreign posts around the world.