The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of the questions you’re asking
When I heard this sentence the very first time, I thought – that’s right. I always admired people who could ask amazing questions. Especially as an HR leader working with Executives, there were a few that truly inspired me and I felt like they had a gift of asking very smart questions! When I was in the meeting with these individuals, the meetings were more productive, more interesting and led to better outcomes. The questions could even change the course or direction just because there was something we’ve never considered or something that helped us on the way to find the answers … And I always thought:
How can I get better at asking great questions?
When I started my journey as a coach, it also struck me that one of the coaching skills and tools is actually asking curious questions. And then of course, I was asking myself, how can I be more curious?! As I learned later, it does take some skill, some intuition, and some experience. Also, my previous blog post was about Why curiosity and creativity are important in life. And that also applies to asking quality questions. And we’re not talking just about open or closed-ended questions but the content of the question on its own as well. So what outcomes do you get when asking a close-ended question? Yes or No. Short and sweet but often not rich enough to get your mind going in the right direction. Open-ended questions start with What – Where – Who – Why – When …. So the answer is much richer! But you probably know that already.
But how do you ask even better questions?
Think about what you want to achieve. What type of answers you are looking for? How deep can you go? Do you think you can’t go any deeper?! There are a few tools I share with my clients but for now, let’s look at using your logical thinking and your connection to spirit. Where are you working from? Are you working from a victim perspective and asking for example: Why is this happening to me? Why me? Why now? Rather than changing the perspective and asking What can or should I learn from this experience? What would I need at this time to get through this? What would serve me at this point?
There is one powerful question that I go to when I want to connect with the divine mind and get out of my head… That’s always very helpful and I never know what the outcome is gonna be. And that’s the power!!! Unexpected, something that opens up horizons, something that gives different perspectives, ideas or solutions… are you ready?! The question is: What do I need to know right now? Yes, it’s that simple and yet that powerful. As you know, every journey starts with the first step and that’s right, the same applies for the questions as well. Once you ask the question, start with the answer, take the action and go from there…
And yet you may ask: but how do I do that? How can I come up with great questions?!
Here are some tips:
1. Ask yourself why you want to know something.
2. Make sure it’s important enough to spend your time on.
3. Don’t go straight to the answer.
4. Be curious about the question itself.
5. Ask follow up questions, go to a deeper level!
6. Look up the answer online. But don’t go into a rabbit hole.
7. If you don’t understand something, ask someone else. Do your homework but don’t waste too much time trying to figure it out.
8. Keep an open mind.
10. Remember, asking good and effective questions is great for everyone.
11. Use the power of silence. You can watch my video on this topic to learn more. Sometimes the answers or questions don’t come to us right away. We need to turn inside of us to release the “stress” of not getting the right question or answer so if we get quiet, it will come to us sooner or later.
12. Hire a coach. Because coaching can make a huge difference in your life. You will get asked tough questions that push your buttons! That move you different directions. And if you’re ready to make a change… book your complimentary session with me here.
Can I ask any wrong questions?
It depends how you look at it! A questions that doesn’t give you the answer you need is not the right question to ask but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It is just not serving you well. But it can spark something else so it’s no harm done.
But sometimes we can ask the types of questions that can feel too personal – those are the sensitive questions you may be afraid to ask in certain situations, they may be too pushy, or asked not in the right time and then we get the type of answer we either don’t want or are not serving us well at all.
Is there a good list of questions I can use to start with?
Yes, that’s a good question! You can find some good resources online or find some inspiring books about questions. How about one of these books – The Book of Beautiful Questions by Warren Berger or 3000 Questions About Me. You will find all sorts of question types there that can spark your curiosity and imagination. You can use these sources to ask better questions in your personal life and professional life as well. I am sure, if you have any direct reports, they will appreciate you being a master question asker! And asking great question also shows your level of maturity and your emotional intelligence.
If you have any questions about where you are in life or career and you know that you are longing for something better, don’t forget to complimentary session with me here. Remember, the quality of your life is dependent on the quality of the questions you’re asking.