The Power of QuestionsJanuary 11, 2018 | Mentorship
I love people who challenge me to think about something in a new way, therefore, opening me up to new possibilities. One of the most powerful ways I have seen this done is through the use of great questions.
The first person who taught me the power of questions was Dr. Hallatt, the Housing Director during my college years. My first encounter with him was in my sophomore year when he spoke to all the Resident Assistants (RAs) at RA Camp. I was sitting in the front row and at one point in his talk he stopped right in front of me, looked me in the eye and asked me “Have you ever thought about whom you are going to marry?”
I was a little embarrassed and overwhelmed by the question because I was 19 and wasn’t dating anyone. I shook my head “No.” He asked “Why not? That’s one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.” Though I was intimidated, I knew he was right. That has question stuck with me – and its impact was greater than just on whom I was to marry.
Over time he became a priceless mentor who helped shape the coach, consultant, and person I am today (I love to make people think and move into powerful, positive action). And to think it all started with one question.
But it’s not just me. We’ve all been influenced and shaped by questions – those that others have asked and those we ask ourselves every day. Some questions open us up and other questions shut us down.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” ~Tony Robbins
So What Makes a Powerful Question? Powerful Questions:
- Are open-ended (require answers that cannot be answered in a word or two)
- Are positive and non-judgmental (Based on curiosity, not own judgment, opinions or beliefs)
- Stick with you and help you make deeper, more positive and powerful discoveries
The Challenge (and perhaps problem)
Most people haven’t been taught this powerful and meaningful skill of asking powerful questions (outside of maybe some professional training on how to ask questions within a particular career.) And since we haven’t been formally taught, we simply mirror what we have learned from those around us – which in some cases is very good and other cases, not so good.
Who had the greatest influence on your questioning skills and knowledge?
The Good News is Question-Asking is a Skill! Therefore, It Can Be Improved!
Here Are 3 Quick Tips to Help You Ask More Powerful and Effective Questions:
- Get really curious about others thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. Then ask open-ended questions that require deeper reflection and answers. Ask follow-up questions in order to fulfill your curiosity.
- When you are in a meeting or conversation and starts shifting into a negative spiral ask one of these questions:
- How can we create/achieve the BEST result? (Add the BEST result you can think of)
- How can you create/achieve the BEST result?
- What if we could create/achieve the BEST result, what might we do?
- If you could do anything to get the BEST result what might you do?
- Before each and every phone call, meeting, interview, networking event, etc. write down the questions you want and need to be answered to accomplish your goals. (You can start by asking yourself: What do I want out of this meeting/event/etc.) This will help you prepare your mind and helps you create more powerful questions in the future.
My belief is that as we ask more powerful and positive questions of ourselves and others we will transform our world into a more positive, proactive place. Starting with the places we spend the most of our time – at home and in the office. And isn’t that a great place to start?
Before You Go - I Have a Challenge to You (Should you choose to accept it):
- Write down three ways you think asking better questions could help you in your career and/or personal life
- For the next seven days, keep a log of the questions people ask AND the impact those questions have on you and others. Including the questions, you ask yourself and others! On the seventh day, summarize your findings and share your observations with others.
Want to Learn More?
Please join us on Thursday, January 18, where Amy will be presenting Make it a Kick Butt Year. During this experiential session, Amy will challenge you to think deeper and answer four simple but powerful questions to help you ensure wild success in 2018. Come and kick-start your new year on the right foot.
Amy Zastrow is the Kick Butt Business Mentor and founder of Success Architects, LLC. Whether working one-on-one or with groups, Amy puts people into action with her direct, strategic, results-oriented approach. For more information about Amy, please go to www.KickButtToday.com