During the year I always reflect on where I’m at and where I’m going regarding my career, my health, my relationship, etc. Questions are a big part of my evaluation process each and every day and helped me with insight and creating new opportunities. I’m always asking questions to determine what is going on internally and externally. When I ask the right questions it gives me a better idea of what is going on and provides me with some learning either about myself or the situation.
I read a great book Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work by Marilee Adams and it confirmed to me the power of questions. Questions are constant and they do define how we listen, think and relate to others either as individuals or teams. Everything we do is generated by questions. We are constantly asking them to ourselves or others. This book provides valuable information about the type of questions we are asking ourselves and the outcome we get. The questions we ask can be coming from a place of learning or judging.
When something goes wrong in your world do you react and blame or do you stop and think what can you learn from the situation? Many times we jump to react and start judging either ourselves or those around us. The questions we may ask when things don’t go our way could be:
· “Why am I so stupid?”
· “Why did they do that, are they idiots?”
· “What was I thinking?”
· “What the heck is wrong with them?”
· “Why bother, it won’t make a difference?”
These are reaction type questions and put blame on an individual or team. Many times we will label a person and write them off. If we can make a shift and change how we look at a situation and ask different questions it can change the outcome. When we move into a place where we learn it can prevent conflict and provide a smoother path and a calmer state of mind. Here are some questions that take us from reacting to a place of learning:
· “What can I learn from this situation?”
· “What assumptions am I making?”
· “What is going on with the other person? What are they thinking, feeling?
· “What are the facts about the situation?”
· “What do I want?”
· “What are the possibilities? What choices do I have?”
These types of questions open up your mind and allow you to reflect on the situation and determine what is going on from a learning perspective. It gives you a much better picture and an opportunity to have more thoughtful choices and provide solution oriented thinking. As a coach I’ve always been curious about what is going on with an individual or the teams I’m working with. Being curious takes you to the learning side and encourages you to ask the questions to uncover information to help with a solution.
Are you a judger or a learner?
By choosing the right questions it can lead you to success both personally and professionally. Questions that have thinking behind them can lead you to greater productivity, new ideas and happier relationships. Get curious and ask questions that will help you learn and improve your world and those around you!
By: Corey McCusker, Mental Performance Coach