We all want to be helpful to our friends, family, employees and colleagues. It is tempting to default to giving advice. However, all improvement is self improvement.
Let me say that again: All improvement is self improvement. We cannot change other people. Only they can do that.
However, we can help them along. Your best tool for helping is a powerful question. A powerful question makes your conversation partner think and forces them to come up with a novel answer.
Powerful questions such as:
- What would you advise your best friend to do in this situation?
- What would have to happen for this to fail?
- What will you do if this is wildly successful?
- What do you want out of this interaction?
- Would you rehire this person for your team?
- Would my current employees gladly work for me again?
- If you were made the boss today, what is the first change that you would make?
- Describe a great day at work for you. How could you make more of them?
- What is your highest priority in life? What have you spent most of your time on for the past month? Do they match?
- What word do you want people to use to describe you? Do they describe you this way now?
- What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Are you living in a way that will cause them to think of you that way?
- What are your top five values? Which do you need to prioritize more highly?
- What does success look like?
- Why will this idea fail? How can you ensure that it doesn’t?
- What are you grateful for? Do you show it?
Asking these powerful questions can help the people around you immeasurably. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.
Just my opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
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