I grew up like most kids in my generation, playing lots of sports and generally outside a lot.
I played flag football starting when I was 5 or 6 for several years.
One Saturday morning we were wrapping what I’m sure was a dominating performance, and celebrating with out obligatory Gatorads and Capri Sun Juice boxes (if you know, you know)
My mom had arrived with my sister separately from my dad and I so we would be leaving separately as well.
This is the first time (and the time we still talk about in our family today) that I witnessed the most catastrophic and comical breakdown in the communication of human langauge.
This should have been a very simple exchange of “good-bye” or “see you later”
Nope, not even close.
Here’s how the exchange went
My dad: “Ok we are going home I’ll see you later”
My mom: “Ok, but where are you going?”
My dad (now confused): “We are going home, I just said that.”
My mom: “I know, but where are you going?”
I’m not joking when I say that this went on for literally minutes, to the point where two seemingly intelligent adults are screaming at each other and only repeating the same thing over and over….
“WE’RE GOING HOME!!!!”
“I KNOW, BUT WHEEEREEE ARE YOU GOOOOING?
I can just see myself sitting in the grass indian style with my flags still on in complete bewilderment, thinking that my life was doomed and maybe hoping I could find another family because my parents were idiots hahaha.
Finally (way too far into this exchange) I think my mom asked why we were walking a different direction than she was…….and my dad responed with a very exhausted “Because we are parked over there”
And there you have it, the infamous “But where are you going?” incident happened because they were parked in different parking lots.
Sometimes we just need to ask a different question.
Not necessarily a better question, just different.
One of many skills I’ve learned from working on seminar staff is to quickly adandon things that don’t work. Seminars are an inherently time contrained environment, therefore time can’t be wasted.
Giving the same cue twice to correct the deadlift with no response means that cue is out and I’m trying something different.
This has worked its way into how I ask questions too. If I don’t get an answer that satisfies the question I almost immediately change the question.
This is usually not because the person didn’t understand or didn’t know. The first question was a bad questions.
Think about the different questions we ask:
“Why isn’t this done?’ vs “Is there something holding up the process?”
“Why are you late? vs “Is there something going on that I need to know about?”
“Why are you in such a bad mood?” vs “How are things are work?”
The question matters.
If we as more questions, we will ask better questions.
So here’s my question for you:
What can I do for you?
(And where are you going?) 😉