Questions make us better listeners and listening is the most important thing an election candidate can do. True listening is easier when you have done your own reflection and preparation. Questions impel us to do our homework and reflect and prepare. Therefore questions make us better listeners.
When citizens, media channels, and organizations reach out to candidates with challenging questions they are not only providing a service to the community – but the questions themselves impel candidates to reflect, prioritize, and weigh their knowledge base. This is important because when we’ve done our homework, we are prepared, and then we can truly listen.
An election campaign period is so much more than a time to state your case as to why you should be elected. A campaign period can be, in part a “listening sabbatical” – Another excellent opportunity to reach out and connect with people in the community so that when you get to the Council table, you have the words of those with whom you’ve spoken, in your notebook before you.
An election campaign can be demanding for sure – as it should be. It challenges us, tests our character and commitment, and pushes us to focus our attention on our assumptions and our priorities. Campaigns bring questions – And questions make us better listeners.