This article on the Questioner Tendency is a follow-up article to How Unlocking Your Natural Tendency Leads to a Happier Life, an overview of the Four Tendencies.
Why are the four tendencies so important?
When we understand our own tendency, we’re better able to amplify the strengths and mitigate the weaknesses so that we can enjoy more productive and healthier relationships with the people that we work with as well as the people in our life outside of work.
And, when we’re able to understand another person’s tendency, we’re better able to appreciate their point of view and makes sense of why they do what they do.
In order to communicate effectively,
we need to reach people through their tendency, not our own.
The Questioner Tendency – An Introduction
Questioners do just that; ask a lot of questions. When most people have enough information to make a decision and are ready to move on, the Questioner will resist if they have more questions.
Questioners will ask as many questions as they need to arrive at a conclusion, regardless if everyone else is ready to move on. If something doesn’t make sense, they’ll resist.
Questioners will do something, but only if it makes sense to them.
Questioners show a deep appreciation for information, logic, and efficiency. You’re likely to find a lot of spreadsheets around a Questioner.
Questioners resist anything arbitrary, inefficient, or irrational. It has to make sense; otherwise they will resist acknowledging its presence.
The motto of the Questioner is “If you convince me why, I’ll comply.”
Questioners do excellent research and draw their own conclusions using their own judgment. They can get annoyed when someone else wants them to explain how they arrived at a particular conclusion.
Think about yourself and the people in your life at home and at work. See if you can identify questioner-like behavior.
Let’s dive a little deeper and break down the advantages and disadvantages of this tendency.
The Questioner Tendency Advantages
- Once a Questioner buys into the justification for an expectation, whether it comes from the inside or the outside, they’re self-directed and don’t need much supervision.
- Questioner’s decisions about meeting an expectation are backed by reasoning, logic, and data (facts, figures, statistics, etc.) that justify them, nothing is arbitrary. You can count on them to do the research.
- Questioners are drawn to creating systems that are efficient and effective. This helps everyone focus on the work they want to do and not be distracted by poor or weak operational practices.
- They’re comfortable bucking the system if they think it’s warranted. It’s always good to have someone on your team that doesn’t accept conventional wisdom for face value when it doesn’t make sense in a particular situation.
The Questioner Tendency Challenges
- One of the biggest challenges for Questioners is they can often fall into analysis paralysis. Their innate need for more and more information can keep them stuck in research and prevent them from making a decision and moving forward.
- They can also struggle to accept closure if there are questions still left unanswered. They can be viewed as impatient with others who are willing to accept insufficient information or industry standards in order to have closure and move on.
- Questioners don’t like to be questioned, which can turn people off. Wait, you ask a ton of questions but you won’t take the time to answer mine?
- Also, their incessant need to ask questions can be draining and overwhelming to others. For this reason, Questioners can be viewed as time wasters, stallers, and non-team players because their endless questioning can seem like a challenge.
When you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Questioner Tendency, you’re much better able to manage yourself, if you’re a Questioner, and also to manage the Questioners in your life.
Now, how to deal with the Questioners in your life, whether you are one or you know one.
The Questioner Tendency Strategies
Seek to Understand
Tap into their desire to teach.
Remember, Questioners don’t like being questioned about how they arrived at their conclusions. One non-threatening way to get a Questioner to explain how they reached a conclusion is to say something like “I’m not questioning your decision; I’m just interested in your process so I can learn from you”. Questioners often like to teach so they appreciate this approach.
Circumvent Analysis Paralysis
Impose limits for the Questioner.
Focus on efficiency. Determine a deadline for a decision or getting something done. Encourage a questioner to seek out an expert, someone they trust and can rely on, that has already done all the necessary research.
Focus on the “Why”
Take the time to explain why.
If you’re trying to get a questioner to do something, take the time to explain to them why it’s important. Questioners will resist something they feel is arbitrary. In order to get questioners to act, they must understand the justification.
For questioners to enjoy their work and feel valued, it’s important that they work in an environment where questioning is encouraged and rewarded whether they are an employee or work for themselves.
How I Can Help You
In order to develop more enjoyable, collaborative, respectful, and productive relationships, with yourself and the people around, learning about The Four Tendencies will help you get there.
I’d love to help you apply The Four Tendencies in your own life so you can enjoy the benefits of improved relationships at home and at work. Contact me HERE.
Take the Quiz
Discover your tendency by taking the short quiz here.
Other Articles About The Four Tendencies
For an overview of the Four Tendencies, read How Unlocking Your Natural Tendency Leads to a Happier Life
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Sandra is a business and life coach who specializes in helping clients who are craving a change but feel stuck where they are. Sandra helps them discover a new vision of the future and follow through on their ideas with enthusiasm and confidence. With a diverse background that spans more than three decades, Sandra combines her educator’s perspective, business acumen, life coaching skills, and everything she’s learned along the way to help her clients make bold moves that advance them forward in their careers and in their lives. When she’s not working, Sandra loves practicing yoga, traveling, cultural experiences, and enjoying the desert southwest.