Asking relevant questions: the key to personal and national dev’t

GHANA AT 65: The system must work efficiently…a nationalist’s standpoint
Patrick OWUSU (PhD)

Years ago, I discovered that asking relevant questions opens one’s mind to deep exploration. You will never know how loaded you are with information until you are asked pertinent questions relating to your specific area. Your timely response to someone’s question(s) becomes the anchor to their destiny. So, do you have any issue(s) bothering your mind? Open up to the right people and ask questions else, your incessant worries become a burden to your safety, social and self-esteem needs.

Do you know that Thomas’ question to Jesus about spiritual destination caused the latter to offer one of the greatest statements of all time concerning eternity? Listen to Jesus’ response: “I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life. No One Comes To The Father But Through Me? “(John 14:6).

Thomas’ question to Jesus was, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way (John 14:5)?” My thinking is, if Thomas had not asked Jesus this timely question, probably, we would have lost that assuring statement of I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life in the Bible. So, let’s ask purposeful questions.

At home, parents must be patient enough to handle all questions asked by their children. Whether they are relevant or irrelevant, your response has the power to shape the lives of your children. If you shut them up out of anger, you weaken their self-confidence. Emotionally, most children even recoil to their shells in order not to be verbally abused by their parents, if a question receives a spiteful response. Parents should always find the best way of answering their children’s questions.

At the workplace, any supervisor or superior who manipulates their subordinates so much that, they are intimidated in asking relevant questions regarding organisational drive heads towards doom. You see, insecure leaders run away from intelligent questions. They have forgotten that certain relevant questions from well-meaning subordinates add to the progress of the organisation. Sometimes, a question causes you to sit up and to recreate an atmosphere of creativity. Mr. Leader, be open to constructive questions from your people.

The church can also do better, if senior pastors become more open and accountable to questions about church growth (all matters relating to both physical and spiritual growth of the church).  As a leader, from time to time, learn to conduct performance appraisal. Allow your subordinates to assess the impact of your leadership style on the growth of your organisation. Subordinates’ constructive criticisms and incisive recommendations if suitably sifted and applied can radically change your level of thinking and add value to your scope of life as a leader. It takes a purposeful leader to allow his subordinates to ask critical questions.

On the national level, our leaders must be bold enough to answer questions from the citizenry.  Each year, most parts of our cities and towns in Ghana get flooded as a result of torrential rainfall. Thus, I ask, what preparation have we made so far to reverse this calamity? Are we waiting for the usual floods between the months of June and September or we have made adequate arrangements to resist the floods? What about our roads and the improvement of our economy? Talk is cheap but action is relevant. Our leaders should come out with concrete steps and ways of mitigating challenging moments in our country.

As a nationalist, I prefer to ask critical questions about national security, road construction, education (vocational, science and technology), electric power, protection of our children, healthcare and agricultural development. When systems are in place, jobs can easily be re-created for the youth. It’s time we asked questions for our own development.

Let’s do away with partisan politics and build a stronger nation that becomes the epitome of greatness for Africa and the world at large. Finally, it is time to sit up and ask yourself the following pertinent questions about self-development:

  1. Are you comfortable with the way you use your money? So, what are the financial plans you are putting in place to save, and judiciously invest your money in a credible financial institution?
  2. When are you giving up on your smoking and drinking habits? Do you know that they are dangerous to your own health? Yes, they have adverse effects on your kidney and liver functions.
  3. Why are you failing as a parent? What plans are you putting in place to enhance your value as a father or a mother?
  4. How well do you relate with your colleagues, subordinates and your line-managers at the workplace?
  5. How do you use your time? Do you waste enough time on unnecessary matters or you are a good steward of time? Do you know that time  does not wait for any reckless person? Time is a commodity which,       not wisely used, passes by without any major accomplishment being made.
  6. How organised is your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and the surroundings of your house? How often do you clean these areas – bathroom, kitchen, living area and the bedroom?
  7. Do you care about your physical appearance? If you do, you will always dress properly to add value to yourself.
  8. How do you treat your spouse? Is your spouse valuable to you after years of marriage or a ‘side-chick’ has taken the seat of your spouse? What steps are you putting in place to restore the sanity of your marriage?
  9. As a subordinate, how serviceable are you to your leader’s vision and mission statements? Are you in that organisation to support its progress or you are part of the ‘Coup Makers’ whose agenda is to overthrow any good suggestion that fosters on unity of purpose and productivity?
  10. How well do you relate with your parents, siblings, children and your in-laws?

If you are able to answer all these questions properly, like Thomas (in the book of John 14:5), the finest response will change your life forever, more especially at the start of a new year.

The writer is an Academic, Visiting Lecturer, Leadership Consultant and a Reverend Minister with the WordSprings City Church, Kumasi-Ghana.

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Contact: +233 (59) 5 71 08 01

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