Part of my job is meeting with management teams from publicly traded companies to evaluate their corporate strategy. I love my job, because I’m constantly learning, contextualizing, and evaluating. I don’t love that it forces me to make decisions without complete information, sometimes the truth of obfuscated, and making mistakes is costly, but part of the job.
It was a tough week at work and busy one at home. As I was packing myself up to go home Wednesday night I said to my associate, “I hope nothing bad happens tomorrow.” It was an admission of submission to the pounding I had taken on a number of fronts and maybe my bone tired body talking. Thursday was a better day. I was wrapping up my week as we are currently on our way to my cousin’s wedding in North Carolina.
Yesterday included two management meetings. At the end of the second one, the CFO said, “You ask really great questions, but even more you turn my answers around on me to get to what you want to know.” I totally blushed. First, it was a really nice complement. Second, it validate something I’ve been working on. He went on to say, “How do you do it?” I didn’t want to go into an in-depth explanation of how I have been practicing asking questions that get to the meat of the issue.
My response, “I have to give a lot of credit to my five-year old. He loves to give one word answers and try to evade my questions. It is a daily practice that helps me sharpen my skills at getting to the real answers.” We both laughed about it and he joked, “Your kids aren’t going to like you when they are teenagers.”
Probably true, but I hope that no matter how annoyed they are with my nosiness they will know that I’m interested in them. I hope they can recognize my exculpatory questions as me caring about what is going on in their lives. I hope my questions remind them that they can come talk to me about anything, even when I’m not asking the questions.