The Power of Questions

March 13th, 2022 | Leadership
The Power of Questions

Excerpted from Chapter 7 of “Better Leaders Ask Better Questions”  by Lindsay Tighe

If I haven’t got you excited enough already about the power of asking Better Questions, please read the following list of reasons why questions are so amazing.

They create a new idea

When we are asked questions, we are often forced to consider situations in a different way. It is surprising what brilliant ideas are produced if we make a conscious effort to use a resource that contains an unlimited amount of amazing information . . . our brains! The brain will even look for solutions when we aren’t consciously thinking about the question we have been asked – that is how powerful asking a question can be. Indeed, sometimes I will think of an answer long after the question was asked – that is the power of having a question posed to us.

They expand our thinking

Unless we are ‘pushed’ or challenged, we tend to stick with our routine way of thinking. It is easier to follow an established pathway than to create a situation where we have to start from scratch. Our brains work in such a way that unless we are asked a question that takes us away from a well-trodden path, we stick to our familiar thoughts and ideas and rarely expand upon them. However, when we are invited to do so with a question, it is amazing to see how expansive and resourceful we can be.

They help people appreciate another perspective

Sometimes, the ability to appreciate another perspective not only challenges the reality we are experiencing but facilitates the creation of a new reality. Asking Better Questions helps us consider broader perspectives than those in our own limited thought processes, and in doing so the expansion of thinking can open up completely new ideas, insights and possibilities.

They change feelings

One of the most powerful elements of our life experience is concerned with our feelings. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they can control the way they feel about something. Some believe that their feelings are caused by external events rather than the choices that they make in response to those events. Questions can be the catalyst for people to change the way they feel about something, as these questions generate new thoughts, which are the trigger for the feeling in the first instance.

They change behavior

Our behavior is driven by our feelings, and our feelings are connected to how we think and our interpretation of our experiences. Questions are powerful in shaping behavioral patterns in that they invite us to become aware of the experiences we are having, and when these experiences are changed in our minds, different feelings and different behaviors will result. Thus, a new idea formed as a result of being asked a question can cause a change in the behavior of the person who has this new idea.

They help gain new insights or awareness

In this case, a question is useful in helping us become more aware of who we are and what we do. As we already know, without awareness nothing can change, but with awareness we can make a conscious choice to change something. A powerful question gives us the gift to become more aware of unconscious patterns and themes in our lives.  We can then use this awareness to make more empowered choices in the future.

They help people gain control

One of the worst emotions we can have is the feeling of powerlessness. We don’t like it when we are not in control. When this happens we have a tendency to blame someone else for the situation so that we don’t have to take back control ourselves and do something about it. It sometimes feels safer to blame others, and the fact that we do this means that we surrender our power to do anything about the problem at hand. Powerful questions can help us become more aware of how we are giving our power away, and of what we can and can’t control. Even when we can’t control things in our lives, questions can help us realize that we always have a choice about our response to things. The end result is that people feel in control again and take charge of their own situations when they are asked Better Questions.

I invite you to read the list above again and try not to feel inspired or excited! Imagine if we all had the ability to achieve these outcomes in our role as leaders; our organizations would undoubtedly be better places to work, and people would feel much more positive about themselves and be more resourceful. I trust that by now I have given you some great ideas that will inspire you to develop the skill of asking Better Questions, and that you recognize that this will be a real gift to you and your teams. There is enormous potential to profoundly impact on people and the outcomes achieved by asking those Better Questions.

Note from Bob:  “Better Leaders Ask Better Questions” is a Kindle Book.  Click HERE to order yours today!

Lindsay Tighe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lindsay Tighe is a successful and highly regarded speaker, businesswoman, author and coach who is passionate about inspiring people to improve their own lives and the lives of others. She is committed to changing the world by helping people to have more empowered thoughts and conversations with each other in order to tap into their own wisdom through asking Better Questions.  You can connect with Lindsay @ www.empoweredconversations.com.au or on Facebook

 

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