Useful Questions To Ask Often
The right question asked at the right time is tremendously powerful.
Questions are the doorway to change.
Because change, in its most basic form, can be distilled down into a change in perspective.
Questions are your battle-ready special forces troops that can drop in behind enemy lines, in the pitch darkness, rescue the persecuted and get everyone to a new land safely.
The right question will blow the hinges off the door of delusion and shine a fantastic beam of light onto what really needs to occur, for you to get what you want.
A good question can save a life, change a life or make a person millions. (And so much more.)
That's why I keep a file of great questions I come across and think up.
Here are a 3 of my favourites?
1. What must be true in order for what I am observing to be so?
This one question will get you more mileage than an Albatross (who can fly 10,000 miles in a single journey!).
When things go wrong or don't go as we expect them to it's common to bitch about reality.
To presume there is something wrong.
However the universe works exactly as it is setup to.
It's isn't flawed.
By asking what must be so (the NLP Modeler's question) we shift our thinking to what conditions or forces must be present in order for whatever result we are seeing, to occur.
We become more like a scientist seeking out cause and effect, which we can then influence.
How far you'll get with this comes down to the depth and breath of references you have about the topic under discussion and your willingness to probe further.
2. What data, if it existed, from anywhere would cause you to revise your conclusion?
Half the time, we get ourselves into all kinds of problems because we fail to think clearly.
More often than not, the information needed to make good decisions is available but all too often we have an unquestioned level of certainty about something that isn't so, and we fail to look for counter perspective elsewhere.
We only delay paying the price... the consequences of our failure to think clearly, show up later down the line.
Get into the habit of looking for counter data elsewhere and use that information to influence your decisions.
Your life will be a lot happier for it.
3. What's the problem behind the problem, or the process behind the structure?
When helping others, keeping this question in mind will focus your attention on what is really going on.
It's common when people come to you with problems that they will tell you their story about the problem.
Rarely will that be what is really bothering them.
The story often serves as a way of talking about something to a) keep the person stuck and b) keep them from dealing with the real issue - often what they feel or what they fear it will mean.
As a people helper or professional problem solver, your role involves solving the right REAL problem, which is often not the one the client presents.
By paying attention to the person's non verbal's, their language choice and making smart inferences you can quickly discover the real problem behind the problem.
Then changing that becomes much easier.
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