A marriage counselor once told my wife and me that we should end each day asking four simple questions:
a. What made you mad today? – Anger
b. What made you sad today? – Resentment
c. What made you happy today? – Joy
d. What made you excited today? – Passion in life
Asking emotionally rich questions creates profound connections and draws out untold stories. Recently, I started asking these questions to my kids around the dinner table (BOOM) – it’s amazing how many stories created deeper connections.
Let me ask you; have you become a master at asking the brilliant question? The daily discipline of asking questions is a powerful tool to change your life and those you influence. One of the greatest gifts in life is being able to ask the “difficult questions” which allows everyone to collaborate their knowledge into amazing insights.
• Change Questions: If personal change is difficult then ask yourself what is the competing reward in not changing? Simple example: I want to stop procrastinating? What is the reward you are getting for procrastinating? If you desire a change in any area you must first identify the reward you are currently getting for the behavior.
• Simple questions: Don’t you hate when your kids ask you “why.” Then they repeat the same “why” question 10 times. My irritated parental response is normally “because I said so.” The simple “why” question can challenge even the greatest minds sitting around the corporate board room table. The “why” question can force everyone to explain the purpose in a “childlike manner.”
o When you use “the why question” in the workplace or of God, it can your own pubescent power play. Use the powerful “why” question wisely.
o See video for an example: beware it’s theological in nature
• 5W and H Questions: 5W’s and H are the heart and soul of great questions. Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How. I start almost every sales meeting with: How can we help? And then end the meeting with what are the next steps?
• Do you pride yourself as being the smartest person at the table? I have learned I don’t want to be the smartest person at the table. If I am, then I’m definitely sitting at the wrong table. However, I do want to be the most inquisitive person at the table.
Share with us some of your best questions which allow you to lead others.