Not only powerful, but insightful, mind-opening, thought-provoking, challenging ones.
You will probably also know that these questions often start with what poet and writer Rudyard Kipling used to call his 'little friends ' : what, how, when, why....you get the picture.
The truth is, questions can be immensely powerful and developmental when they are insightful, when they are timely and when they encourage a domino-style effect in your thinking process. Through these type of questions one grows, one raises his/her own self-awareness and one learns, most importantly, about what really counts, what is at the core, what is the absolute heart of the matter.
I have three questions in particular that I find routinely match the description above. These are the questions I never stop asking whenever I coach individual or teams, whenever anyone asks me for help even informally. I want to share them with you in the hope you can also begin to use them and experience the staggering results on yourself and on others.
Question #1 WHAT will this mean for you?
This question is about understanding the impact of achieving one's objective. It is crucially important because in answering it will bring to the surface a layers of drivers, motivations and motifs far beyond one's initial idea and intentions. The fact is that one can keep on asking this question until one is satisfied that all motivations and reasons have been explored and explained. If motivations falters outcomes must clearly change or be adjusted. If motivation persists and actually it becomes even stronger every time the question is asked one can eat assured that the identified objectives are the correct ones.
Question #2 HOW will you go about achieving the desired outcome?
The is question is about available resources, strategies but also tactics that will enable one person to achieve their outcome. It is a very powerful questions because it enables the person to think about a variety of related issues, such as the resources needed to achieve the desired outcome, be it time, money, personal influence, other people's support, expertise and knowledge to mention but a few. But also it brings to the fore the need for action and action planning.
Somebody said that leadership is half vision and half action and I totally agree. Unless you take action to execute your vision it will be impossible to achieve any outcome in practice.
Question #3 WHAT else can you do?
Often people come to me because they feel stuck in a vicious circle, they believe they have gone around it so many times they can no longer look at it objectively. Yet all they need is to be asked this simple yet ever so powerful questions, which is all about options. Having options brings hope and positivity to anyone's mindset, but particularly those who feel that had no more hope and no more options! I often drop it casually and then stop. After a few silence-because-brain-is-thinking type of moments people start to focus on their network, their colleagues, their peers, their friends and family. Finally they build an overall picture of where options maybcome from and generally come up with at least one answer. It may be a first small steps but it's importance should not be underestimated as people begin to take ownership and demonstrate a more dynamic and pro- active approach.
So what are your powerful and is nightfall questions? Please share the ones you use and think are crucially important ! As always I would love if you got in touch and shared some comments directly with me or below.