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If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Value and Power of Questions

Several times before I blogged about what I perceive to be the value and power of questions - a certain kind of questions. If, every day, you and I replace a few assumptions, statements, and judgments with a question, a lot would be won: interest, support, curiosity, learning, understanding, collaboration, and increased self-knowledge to name just a few gains.

Examples of questions I like to ask my customers and myself are:

à How would things change if you’d choose the opposite perspective?
à What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
à What might you be missing here?
à What do you want to see when you look back ten years from now?
à What moves you? How do you move others?

There are many more examples, of course. Six questions from Stephen Covey’s book The Third Alternative that I value are:

1.    What’s my story? Do I need to change the script?
2.    Where might I have blind spots about myself?
3.    How has my cultural programming influenced my thinking?
4.    What are my real motives?
5.    Are my assumptions accurate? In what ways are my assumptions incomplete?
6.    Am I contributing to an outcome – an end to the story – that I really want?

Covey relates these questions to involvement in a conflict situation, but they are, of course, applicable in many situations.

I wish you a question-rich 2013!

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