Why you should ASK first…?

By Jernavis Draughn

David Cooperrider is coined for saying, “We live in a world our questions create.” Questions are the ANSWERS to any problem you have in life. We tend to believe we know everything, which leads us to responding with assumptions as answers. There is a difference between facts verse truth. Your “truth”, about most things typically derives from your perspective or feelings about that person, situation, or experience. A fact is something that is indisputable, based on empirical research and quantifiable measures. We often confuse those two words, because we are driven by our emotions, which create how we feel about something. Focus equals feelings. What we focus on, we FEEL. Removing our emotions from the situation helps us see things clearly and allows us to be empathetic to what that person has to say and feeling in that particular moment.

What drives us? Daniel Pink, believes people are driven by, “autonomy, mastery and purpose.” We learn what we VALUE. In any relationship, we must take the time to listen to hear how that person feels, to discover their vision, wants or needs and see how you can contribute to helping them reaching their goals. Listening is the only vehicle to learning. In the book, “The Advice Trap,” Michael Bungay Stainer, explains seven questions that help you gain clarity, learn, and understand someone more deeply.

  1. The Kickstart Question. What is on your mind?
  2. AWE Question. And what else?
  3. The Focus Question. What is the real challenge here for you?
  4. The Foundation Question. What do you want?
  5. The Strategy Question. If you are saying yes to this, what must you say no to?
  6. The Lazy Question. How can I help?
  7. The Learning Question. What was most useful or valuable here for you?

Questions are the answers. Everyone wants to be heard and valued. We all are leaders in some capacity of our life. Every word we utter and action we take will affect someone’s life for the good or bad. All learning is dependent on feedback. Reflection is a form of practice. Let people know you care about what they are saying by listening to them when they talk. Praise people for the behaviors you want them to reciprocate. What is rewarded is repeated and what is punished is avoided. Lastly, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you CARE.

Quote of the Day: “Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.”-Anonymous