Leveraging the Power of Seeking the Right Answers
The path of change is one we often take. Most often, it’s connected to the many aspects of our lives – our work, education, relationships. Sometimes, it takes us on a journey of self-discovery. Other times, it prompts us to alter our habits. There are times when we walk the same road many times, and there are those when we alternate between two parallel pathways.
These journeys can take a long time. And, there are no rules about where they will take us. What is certain, however, is that one change always leads to another.
As we journey towards change, we must ask ourselves the right questions.
Questions help us widen our horizons and achieve things we didn’t even know were possible. Even more, they can help us understand the big truths, which will help us make decisions further down the line.
The questions that change our perspectives and give us new insights – those are the most powerful ones you can ask. They de-center us. But then again, they give us the answers we often didn’t even know we needed.
Having this in mind, I’m asking this: how can we formulate the best questions to help ourselves on the road to brave decision-making? How can we leverage the power of questions to reach our desired goals?
What type of questions do you ask yourself?
When it comes to formating, the questions we ask ourselves can be arranged on a scale. They range from closed-ended (those, which require yes or no answers) to those, which are open-ended and provoke further thought.
Open-ended questions are the more powerful ones. When asked in the right way, they can:
- provoke reflection and seeking out of deeper meaning,
- suggest a change of perspective,
- reveal the things we take for a given and those which we are not yet aware of, and
- support curiosity.
Closed-ended questions are the ones starting with: Which, Who, When, Where, etc. These questions are less powerful for a single reason – they do not open up space for new insights.
Questions that start with Why are open-ended. However, there is one trap about them. They’re often used to seek out guilt. For this reason, we need to be careful about asking why questions. As they prompt us to justify our actions, “why” queries can take us in the wrong direction – that of finding reasons and excuses for not changing.
How about those that start with What or How?
- What happens when…?
- What do you need to…?
- How is this related to…?
- How do you know you found something?
- What will you do to persevere?
In our arsenal of questions to ask ourselves, these are the most powerful ones there are. And the reason for this is that they ignite curiosity and creativity.
There’s one more thing to look out for when asking yourself questions: how you do it. What tone do you use? Are you gentle with yourself, or do you criticize yourself? Are you asking to satisfy your (or someone else’s) expectations, or are you genuinely interested in the answer?
Getting started with asking yourself questions: new, powerful, and those that will ignite positive change.
All things considered, asking yourself questions is a craft. As such, it needs to be practiced and perfected. So, even if your inquiries aren’t yet perfect, don’t despair. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at it. 😉
Do you feel like coaching could help you explore the right questions for you? Would it get you started on finding answers that will encourage and push you towards positive change? If you feel like that’s the case, contact me by clicking HERE.
Visit our virtual business coaching tool vibuco to explore the pool of useful questions.