What is the power of a great question? What effect does a powerful question have on a person? How are questions related to effective listening? How do you feel when someone asks you a sincere question and is truly interested in your answer?
Questions are powerful tools. A well-placed question brings things from darkness into the light. Open ended questions (who, what, when, why, where, tell me more) open a conversation and invite people to think, reflect and engage. Well-constructed questions are tools to gain understanding, agreement and commitment with others.
My coach taught me that explanations kill deals. People don’t like to be lectured and told what to think. But when a speaker relates a great story, and then asks good questions, the hearer feels respected and enlightened as he discovers the lesson. If you have an employee that is struggling to engage, a great question can be an effective respectful tool of accountability. It places the ball into their court by requiring a response. There is nowhere to hide from a great question.
Asking yourself great questions is powerful as well. Taking your current beliefs and thoughts to the witness stand and cross examining them is an amazing way to personally grow. Here are some great questions that I use with others and myself. Try some of these on for size:
Is that thought really true? How do I feel when I think that thought? Who would I be without that thought? What is another way to view this situation? What do you think about this? How do you feel about the situation?
What is the consequence of not acting? If you continue on your current path, where will you likely end up? What are you willing to do to have what you want? What if you set a bigger goal? What else could you do? What would it mean to you if that became a reality? How are you stealing from yourself by allowing that? What is no longer acceptable?
What are your strengths? How many blessings can you write down in five minutes? What is possible? You ask me why would I want that, and I ask you why not? Are you letting perfection get in the way of possibility? What would happen if you really put 110% effort toward that outcome? Ideally, what would you like to see happen? What is the first step to take to move toward your ideal? What is keeping you from your goal being achieved?
Take one of these questions, and sit with a cup of coffee or tea, and ask it. You may be amazed at the answers. What is a better question?