November 8, 2019

❓Building Communities with Questions, Not Answers ❓

We live in a world where we expect and demand answers. People come searching for answers and blueprints, but leave disappointed when they don't find exactly what they are looking for. Sometimes they think they've found the perfect answer, only to find out later that it doesn't really solve their problems.

Answers close down discussions. Questions open them up, the possibilities become endless.

Questions is something I've been thinking about a lot recently. I've been practicing asking questions since day one of community building. And it is only now that I realise that asking questions is key to building community.

We ask questions not necessarily to get to an answer, but to open up a new future of new ideas and possibilities.

On a practical day to day basis these days they mostly come in the form of forum discussions and social media posts. Less often it is face to face (irl or virtually).

As a community leader you'll find me asking questions more than giving out advice. I have experience, but I don't have the answers. When you see me or the Indie Hackers social accounts asking questions it's because we want to help you think about the questions you should be asking yourself so that you can discover new things and come to your own conclusions.

Having this focus on 'questions' has given me a new sense of focus. Now whenever I read anything from the IH community, or anything business related I write down ideas for questions.

  1. 2

    Rosie, that's a very insightful post, thank you for it.

    I realized that I am guilty myself of quickly jumping to answers or suggestions when I interact with our Indie London community.

    This is something I will think about over the weekend and try to improve moving forward.

  2. 1

    This is super encouraging! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 1

    I wonder what are your guidelines for crafting questions which engage a community?

  4. 1

    Wonderfully thoughtful and insightful share.

  5. 1

    That's very interesting, Rosie. Never thought of it that way!