Its a Question of a Question

Note the difference.

'Is X the answer to question A'?

'What's the right answer to question A?'

The first manner of questioning is used when we desperately need the answer to be what we have written, say, in an exam paper. This kind of questioning comes close to what's termed a 'confirmation bias'. We pre-decide what the answer is, and set out to prove it.

The latter style to questioning exhibits a desire to know what the answer is, without any preconditions. The questioner in this case wants to know what the answer is, despite what he may believe it be.

The latter's the 'healthy' questioning mindset. Its a joy to face such questions in the classroom from students who really want to know. These are not students who've already decided what the answer must be, and therefore only seek confirmation.

The difference between the former and the latter is the difference between a marketer and a seller. A seller sells what he believes consumers must buy. Never mind what consumers need. They must buy what he sells. A marketer is the seeking kind. He first understands what is it that consumers need or may need (latent needs), and then goes about designing and delivery a product that's a solution.

In the business world, the seller stumbles, often. The marketer, on the other hand is better placed at garnering sales. Despite our belief that the current business world's populated by marketers, the truth's otherwise. Its sellers who abound. Stumbling all the time.



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