Shabbat Talmud Study: Becoming a Multiplier–Can You Learn to Ask Better Questions?

If you want to become a better and more effective human being at home, at work, and in your various communities of meaning, please consider reading Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. It is gold. Tomorrow morning we begin a several-part series on this very important book.

Wiseman and her team interview 150 leaders, and the people they lead, in America, Europe, Africa and Asia. On the basis of this learning, she offers two typologies: the Diminisher and the Multiplier. The Diminisher sucks all the energy out of the room; demoralizes their team; makes people half as productive as they could be if properly inspired. By contrast, the Multiplier brings out the best in everybody, creating positive energy, high morale, high motivation. The Multiplier makes everyone smarter, twice as productive as they might otherwise be.

Her central thesis is that we can all become a Multiplier. Tomorrow morning we are going to encounter one of the most important ways to accomplish this: asking better questions.

A Diminisher thinks no one else can figure it out but him or her, so the Diminisher tells. A Multiplier knows that others can figure it out without him or her, so the Diminisher asks or invites or poses challenges for the group. The Diminisher micromanages. Do what I tell you. The Multiplier invites a conversation about a juicy challenge and is genuinely interested in other peoples’ thoughts.

What makes a question a question that will open up? Open up conversation. Open up possibilities. Open up energy? Open up thinking that leads to solutions?

We are going to encounter four great Jewish texts on questions (not the 4 Questions from the Seder). Some land. Others do not land. Hopefully we can learn from our tradition how to ask questions that will open up all kinds of positive energy in this new year.

Can we retool ourselves to ask better questions?

See you tomorrow morning at 8:30.

Shabbat Shalom,