Learning how to ask the right questions changes everything

27th January 2019

“One of the fastest ways to find the solution to an issue or challenge you are facing is to ask the right questions.” – Robin S. Sharma

If you are determined to make this year different, asking better questions of yourself and others is a way to profoundly change your life. As children we are brimming with curiosity and we ask hundreds of questions each day as we move further into adulthood this decreases to about a dozen a day.

“It’s not only the questions you ask, but the questions you fail to ask, that shape your destiny.” – Anthony Robbins

In the workplace questions can be crucial to work well with others and great leaders ask really good questions. Sometimes being bold enough to ask a question in a meeting can transform the discussion, and change the mood for the better. In this blog I am going to share some questions you could try in the office and if you would like to develop your questioning and facilitation skills join our upcoming training sessions and help improve every interaction and improve all of your future meetings by enhancing your repertoire of questions.

“The main premise of appreciative inquiry is that positive questions, focusing on strengths and assets, tend to yield more effective results than negative questions focusing on problems or deficits.” — Warren Berger

Here are a few questions for inspiration to get you started –

1. Starting a meeting

Oprah Winfrey starts every meeting the same way.
She says: “What is our intention for this meeting? What’s important? What matters?”

Why does she start a meeting that way? High performers constantly seek clarity. They work hard to sift out distractions so they can not just focus, but continually re-focus, on what is important. Read more about why.  

2. Clarifying questions

If you are unclear or have not agreed on project outcomes.
Q. How should our success be measured?

When reflecting and learning from the past.
Q. If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

Checking with the group.
Q. What are we missing? What have we not considered?

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Brené Brown

3. Shifting from destructive to constructive

Resistance to new initiatives.
Q. What will be the benefits of change?

Opposing views
Q. I hear your views, can I have the opportunity to share my differing point of view?

If you get stuck in a negative loop
Q. What is possible?

If you get stuck on an obstacle
Q. How would the following day look like (without this problem)?

Bonus tip:

Boosting Technique – Build on ideas and keep momentum when brainstorming by saying “Yes and …” (instead of saying but or what about…)

I hope you give this a try at the office, when trying something new, will take plenty of practice before it becomes like second nature but it will be worth the experimental phase.

Remember “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” – Gretchen Rubin

Developing Skills to Ask Better Questions:

I have a vision of a new approach to learning, beyond training and I am launching these mastermind groups to help support people in the charity sector to work through problems with support from a group of their peers. In order for these groups to work effectively I have created a new training session in collaboration with coach and mindfulness trainer Evelyn Kaluza from Wellness for Success.

Asking Better Questions

13 Feb 2019 – BucksVision, Aylesbury – Book:  Eventbrite

This training workshop will be a prerequisite for anyone wishing to join my mastermind group but would also be useful for developing leadership and facilitation skills. Book / Ask me anything

London date – TBC

Mastermind Group

Find out more here – PDF document
Register interest in the Mastermind group – web form