By Dr. Randall P. White
Is God left-handed?
It’s a question I heard a few days ago during an NPR interview with the guy running the Mars Lander project. The interviewer asked a tough question, and the subject said, “That’s like asking if God is left-handed.”
That’s a phrase people use when they’re dealing with difficult questions. The current difficult question is probably, “What’s happening to my 401-K?” or, “When can I retire?”
Smart companies let people ask the tough questions. Even smarter companies address these fears and concerns with financial planning, counseling, even career training. Yet these programs are the first to go on the financial chopping block when money gets tight.
Most companies won’t ask the tough questions because it’s hard to say, “I don’t know.” Try this instead—say “I don’t know.” Then it’s not so worrisome when people ask the tough questions. You’ve already admitted you don’t have the answer. That’s human.
Even if you don’t have the answer, let people ask. Asking tough questions gives legitimacy to their concerns, fears, and frustrations. And for the first time, we need to get used to saying there might not be an answer; and what might be the best answer today, might not be the best answer tomorrow.
In the meantime:
• Accept the idea of not knowing
• Commit to trial and error
• Commit to learning from every possible source
• Trust your gut.
Do that, and you don’t have to worry about the answer, because you’re actually working toward a solution.