The poet e.e. cummings wrote: “Always the beautiful answer, who asks a more beautiful question.” Indeed, solid strategic plans, strong work relationships, high morale and improved performance are all byproducts of good questions. This potent communication tool can help you discover important information about your work, yourself, your associates, your customers—and create insights that otherwise might have remained hidden.
Asking questions without leading, prompting or interrupting shows that you’re really listening. It encourages us to suspend assumptions, which helps prevent miscommunication, unrealistic expectations, stress, damaged relationships and unfulfilled responsibilities. Below are just a few questions that can have powerful effects on your work and life. Just be sure to LISTEN to the answers.
1. What is it that you’d like to see accomplished and how do you see it happening?
2. What are your thoughts? Your concerns?
3. What self-limiting fears, thoughts or actions do I want to leave behind?
4. What’s the most important priority to you with this and why?
5. What would you like to see improved?
6. Can you help me understand that a little better? 7. What’s in the way of improved performance? How can I change that?
8. If I could change one thing in my life/business that would have the greatest impact, what would it be?
9. What prevents me from being able to place more focus on this?
10. Are my actions today compatible with what I wish to leave behind as a legacy?