I was invited to present at a conference for the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) very recently and chose to talk about The Power of Questions. So this week I thought I would remind you of some of the reasons why you need to get excited about questions, as they are NOT simply a sentence with a question mark on the end!
THE most important reason to ask questions is that a Better Question can give us the wonderful opportunity of creating a new thought. Whilst many people could potentially say what’s so special in that, let me remind you that our day to day thinking becomes very routine and habitual and so anything to that gives us the gift of a new thought has to be a good thing. Indeed, I know from experience that a new thought can completely change someone’s life, so don’t underestimate the power of new thought.
I was working with a client who was sharing with me details of a situation that had been challenging her for many years and I asked her two questions “What has she learnt from the situation about herself?” and “What did she want to choose to do about this awareness?” It was clear that both of these questions enabled her to get some new thinking and awareness about the situation that then empowered and inspired her to resolve to take action to change it. It was so wonderful to hear a few weeks later when I next caught up with her that she had taken action as a result of her new thinking and that the situation had been completely resolved with an amazingly positive benefit to her. How can you not get excited when you hear updates like this?! It was the question that triggered the new thought and subsequent action that then transformed someone’s life.
Before I get too carried away let me share just one more reason why Questions are so powerful, on the basis that I will write another Blog soon that highlights more reasons. A Better Question can completely change someone’s perspective on a situation which then can transform their response to it. A simple question like “How else could you see this situation?” or “If you were looking back on this situation in a year from now, what would you say?” can offer the person an opportunity to consciously consider their interpretation of the situation. During this process I find that intense feelings can often be shifted which then completely changes how a person reacts to a situation.
A great example of this was enabling a client to consider her instinctual reaction to a situation that had caused her some anxiety for many years. Once she became conscious of the thinking that triggered the feeling she chose a new perspective on the situation and magically the situation no longer causes her any anxiety.
Please watch out for another Blog where I will share more reasons to get excited about questions. In the mean time I hope that what I have shared with you this week helps you to want to use Better Questions more often!