Our quality of life is determined by the questions we ask !
I often wonder if there is power in the question’s we ask of ourselves and to the world around us?
I delved into this subject to research this further as the topic was intriguing.
As a society, we tend to focus a lot on answers. Answers are solutions to problems. We tend to give less prestige to questions. Everyone has them. They’re easy. It’s the answers that take the work. This overlooks the power of questions. Asking questions gives you a better understanding of everything: the situation you are in, the challenges you are facing, life.
Yes, there is power in the questions we ask. The questions we ask shape our thoughts, perspectives and the information we seek, which in turn influences our understanding of the world, our decisions and actions. Asking questions can lead to new insights and ideas, spark creative thinking and drive innovation. However, it is also important to consider the potential biases and assumptions inherent in the questions we ask and to strive to ask questions that are open-minded, impartial and respectful.
What are some poor quality questions that we often ask:
Have you ever heard or caught yourself asking “Why does this always happen to me?” “Why is life so unfair?” or “Who can I blame or shame for being so mean?”
While every question has a reason behind them, I believe some questions leave you feeling deflated. They rob you of your energy. They leave us feeling hopeless and perhaps miserable. The wise tell us that these are poor quality questions.
Poor quality questions are often:
1. Vague or general: They don’t focus on a specific topic or provide enough context to make a meaningful inquiry.
2. Leading: They contain the answer within the question or suggest a particular response.
3. Based on assumptions or stereotypes: They are influenced by preconceptions or biases that are not supported by evidence. “I knew Julie could not be trusted. Right?”
4. Closed-ended: They can be answered with a simple :yes”; or “no” and do not encourage elaboration or exploration of a topic.
5. Imperative: They use a commanding tone that makes the person being questioned feel defensive or uncomfortable.
6. Overly personal: They ask for intimate details or invade privacy, causing discomfort or offense.
7. Non-sequitur: They are disconnected from the conversation or context, making it difficult to respond in a meaningful way.
It is important to avoid these types of questions in order to facilitate productive conversations, gain deeper insights and build positive relationships.
How to ask better quality questions:
I have come to believe truly that Questions are the means by which we explore ourselves, each other and the world.
There is an Art to the Asking of Beautiful Questions :
I refer to Warren Berger’s 3 step method to asking Beautiful Questions.
Step 1. Why ? Asking ‘Why’ allows us a better understanding and allows us to see our ‘regular’ habitual way of thinking.
Step 2 . What if? What if there was a better way of doing things? What if what I see may not necessarily be the truth? What if, creates an expansive effect on our thinking causing us to think without limits.
Step 3 : How? How do I start working towards what I want. Regardless of whatever you want, try not to aim for perfection. “Perfect” does not exist. Start with small ‘baby’ steps. As one of my mentors says ‘Just aim to be 1% better than who you were yesterday’.
Asking better quality questions can be achieved through several methods:
1.Be specific and clear: Avoid vague or general questions and aim to ask questions that are specific and focused.
2. Avoid leading questions: Avoid asking questions that contain the answer within the question or that suggest a particular response.
3. Consider different perspectives: Try to see the subject of inquiry from different perspectives and to ask questions that take into account multiple viewpoints.
4. Be open-minded: Be open to the possibility of not knowing the answer, and to the possibility that the answer may be different from what you expect.
5. Avoid assumptions: Avoid asking questions that are based on assumptions or stereotypes.
6. Listen actively: Listen to the response to your questions and follow up with additional questions that build upon the information you receive.
7. Refine your questions over time: As you learn more about a subject, continue to refine and improve your questions to deepen your understanding.
Questions I ask myself every day?
It is now almost 5 years since I have been journaling religiously. I love this exercise, which is a part of my morning ritual.