Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked about listening, with the intention of transitioning into today’s topic….
A few months ago,I had an interesting discussion with a lawyer on the subject of “questioning”.
From a lawyer’s perspective, asking questions is about leading another person down a very particular path.
For lack of a better word, the conversation is manipulated by the lawyer to get their desired results.
This is a powerful skill.
However, the questioning methodology that I’m referring too is actually quite different.
In fact, it’s the opposite.
Rather than taking another person down a desired pathway, you encourage the other person to explore things further within themselves, and enable them to discover a path that feels best for them.
In the end, it’s about empowering the other person.
This all sounds good, but “what does this have to do with getting results?”
In a previous newsletter, I wrote about a formula that gets people to take action.
Here’s the formula:
Question > Reflection > Insight > Action
If you ask a person a powerful question, it gives them an opportunity to reflect. And, it’s through reflection that people generate their own insights.
And, when someone generates their own insights, they’re exponentially more likely to take action.
This is where you want to be!
You want to utilize questioning as a way to empower others to arrive at their own insights, so, in turn, they’re eager to take action.
And when people are eager to take action, results will follow.
So…..you may be asking, “EASY…I just ask questions and people take action?!”
In some respects, it IS that easy, BUT, like anything, it’s nuanced and takes practice to do it well.
Here’s a quick guideline to help you out:
1. Remove your agenda
2. Drop your need to control outcomes
3. Ask open-ended questions that start with “what” and “how”
4. What was that experience like for you?
5. How did this experience impact your life?
6. Give the person space to reflect and come up with their own insights
7. Check in with the person to see if there’s an opportunity for them to explore further
Over the next week, give yourself the opportunity to guide someone down a pathway of discovery.
It could be a conflict at work, a disagreement at home, an exploration with a friend; it really doesn’t matter.
If you go into conversations with the mindset that everyone has the answers inside of them, it opens the door for self-discovery, and removes the burden of you having to figure everything out on your own.
Give it a try.
Over the next two weeks, I’m going to give examples of how I’ve used questioning to support the growth of my clients’ businesses.