As a lifeskills coach and consultant for more than 20 years, I found myself immersed in the bewildering world of what questions to offer my clients to start the conversation. Those questions hopefully ended with a life-changing transformation for both client and coach.
Today, we all begin this momentous 2020 year with even more questions about where our nation is heading and how every area of our lives will be impacted. So, I decided to resurrect our 2018 focus on powerful questions we will all need to ask ourselves in the months ahead.
Questions “From the Heart” Series will journey this year through our human experience filled with questions. This journey will weave together our childlike curiosity and adult intellect with the deeper emotions of the heart. Where do you begin?
Question yourself first. What is the story you are telling yourself? In what way is your story true or not true? What other possibilities are there? How are you listening skills?
As much as truth impacts our lives, we sometimes forget a question sends us on the journey for life’s often illusive answers. How we embrace the journey will depend on our response to simple but powerful questions. Powerful questions not only awaken us to life’s possibilities but invite profound relationships to emerge. Questions “From the Heart” will be offered every first and third Friday of each month.
Whether in the workplace or at home, how we communicate with one another will unite or divide a relationship. With open, safe dialogue, the What, Why, When, Where, Who, and How questions significantly support thriving and whole relationships. “Why” questions can be a page-turner, both positive and negative, in any relationship. As with all questions, “why” in particular should be open-ended and affirming in order to offer a safe environment for all the possibilities, no matter the age. This take time to nurture respect, trust and safety.
We all need to be careful with our “why” questions since we tend to use it to only emphasize our own opinion on something. We adults also tend to ask questions with a different motive. A question such as “Why do you want to do that?” can easily be cloaked in “Why do you want to do that, dummy?!”
Like closed-ended question, such as Are you, Could you, Should you, Would you, Will you, Do you, these types of questions usually elicit a finite answer “yes or no.” They may often include presuming, probing, or leading questions. “Why” questions can illicit the same if one isn’t careful. We then lose the ability to really listen to someone else’s perspective, and even the relationship can be lost. When we listen without judgment, we just may discover something new and true for our own lives. Even if we disagree, we hopefully find ourselves disagreeing “agreeably.” We actually sustain our mutual respect, trust, and safety for each other.
Whether the question starts with What, Why, When, Where, Who, or How, open-ended questions can be time-consuming. It also may result in unnecessary information given and require more effort on the part of the user. No matter, open-end, affirming questions are well worth the time and effort. So, let’s begin the journey.
Questions “From the Heart” Series through 2020 and beyond hopes to restore the important role of questions for yourself and every relationship, posed by young and old . . . questions that tell the story of the human heart. Welcome to the journey!
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.”
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)