The Power of Questions

DSC_0016As a coach, one of the early foundational skills we were taught was the power of questions to help our clients resolve their issues.  Since then I have become a big fan of questions, as I have seen them work for many people far better than me handing out advice.

The thing about a good question is that it leads us to the creative side of our brain.  This can raise our awareness about things we may have been missing.

However, it is important to realise that not all questions are equal.  For example, when something bad has happened many people ask, ‘Why me?’.  A better question to ask is, ‘What are the opportunities here?’

By paying attention to the questions you ask, you might notice that the questions you are asking yourself are either making your life better or making it harder.  They will either focus on what you have and how you are getting better, or they will focus on what you don’t have (abundance versus poverty focus).

One of the things I have is a list of great questions which I can refer to.  To make sure they are handy I have them listed on my weekly schedule (which sits on my desk everyday to keep me on track).  So if I get stuck on anything I go straight to my list of questions.  The list includes:

  • What do I want my life to stand for?
  • Will this empower me?
  • What’s the opportunity here?
  • Is this part of my Top 5? (my Top 5 are my Top 5 lifetime goals)
  • How can I 10x this? – This question is from Robin Sharma about giving more value
  • How can I simplify this?
  • How can I make this better?
  • Will this matter in 5 days, 5 weeks or 5 years?

These are just a few of the questions I think can help you reframe your issue into a more positive light – and therefore you are more likely to come up with a better solution.

Another thing to consider when asking questions is to work out where you are coming from when you ask them.  For example, if you are sure you are right and you ask another person, ‘What were you thinking?’ you are likely to get a poor response.  However if you come from a place of curiosity and ask, ‘I am curious, what were you thinking?’ you will get a very different (more positive) response.

If your questions lead you to an either/or answer and you feel stuck, try asking, ‘What other three alternatives can I come up with to solve this problem?’.  I find this helps a lot.

As I was researching for this blog I also did a quick Google search on ‘Powerful Questions’ and I found more terrific questions in an article in Forbes magazine entitled, ’35 Questions that will change your life’.  My three favourite questions from the article are:

  • What did I learn today?
  • Who did I love?
  • What made me laugh?

I would love it if you would share with me some of the questions you ask yourself or others when you get in a difficult situation.

Until next week, have a magical one  🙂

To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask?

Jim Rohn


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