Thursday, December 6, 2007

P4E.051 20 Questions

There used to be a radio quiz program called "20 Questions." In the game, the questioner would ask the answerer as many as 20 "yes," "no," or "maybe" questions to determine what subject the answerer had chosen. The questioner used deductive reasoning and creativity to guess the answerer's subject within 20 questions to win the game. The show gave rise to the phrase "What is this, 20 questions?" when someone feels like they're being grilled.

The reason I bring this up is that I've had to jump start my ability to communicate. My wife has impressed on me that a major aspect to communicating is to ask questions. Not as an interrogation method, but to let her know that I'm interested and that I care. She describes conversation as like tennis; a back and forth process. A process that lets the other person know I'm engaged, listening, watching and aware.

I know how good it feels when someone really expresses an interest in me, in who I am, by asking me more than just superficial questions. I get the feeling that they care, that they are impressed by what they are hearing, interested to know me more and place value on me. Knowing how others can affect me this way, I know that I can and should develop the ability to do the same for others. Especially my wife.

As men, we are naturally mechanical and think that conversations with our wives are to be an informational exchange of facts. Conversational questions are not for the purpose of gathering facts and information. This is a place where women are quite different from men.

"Women are not always looking for answers to the questions they ask. They are looking for conversation as a means to gaining an entrance into their husband's heart. Don't just look at the words she is saying. What is going on in her heart that is making her say what she is saying? She needs understanding."

Ken Nair, founder of Life Partners (

As prospective spiritual leaders, we could learn some lessons (receive some "help") from our helpmates in this area. Asking questions for the purpose of gaining an entrance into our wife's heart. That sounds like a very good thing.

Peace, Kim

1 comment:

  1. Yes it does, Kim.

    Yes, I so much agree that conversations, and for those of us with big mouths like myself, listening and majoring on listening- and part of that, maybe a large part through asking questions, is so key and important for us.