By Jernavis Draughn
David Cooperrider once said, we live in the world our QUESTIONS create. This is one of our sales and leadership practices we use at Athletes Global Corporation. Everything that has been created today, started as a question. Just think about it, the cell phone, television, cars, trucks, restaurants, shoes, radio, a table, toothbrush, coats, pants, chairs, floss, vacuum and the list can go on for days. Our thoughts create our reality. Have you ever thought about, what you think about? What type of thoughts run across your mind daily? What type of questions are you asking yourself daily? What type of problems are you trying to solve? How big is your thought for what you would like to accomplish in life?
Now let’s go deeper into understanding how questions create and build our relationships. The most efficient way to learn, connect or understand someone is by asking them questions to discover the who, what, when, where, or how. If you’re in a disagreement with someone and you lack clarity in why they are upset, the easiest way for you to learn why they are upset, is to ask, “what did I do wrong? If you’re in a sales meeting with a new prospect, the fastest way for you to discover their needs and wants, is through asking the right questions. Questions create clarity.
In the book, “The Coaching Habit”, by Michael Bungay Stanier, he discusses the seven essential questions that help managers lead better.
- The Kickstart Question. What’s on your mind?
-We are what we give our attention too. You first have to know what’s on their mind to help them solve the problem.
2. The AWE Question. And What Else?
-More options can lead to better decisions, better decisions lead to greater success.
3. The Focus Question. What’s the real challenge here for you?
-As a leader you have to help people narrow their focus.
4. The Foundation Question. What do you want?
-Discover what makes their heart sing. What goals and aspirations do they have for their life?
5. The Lazy Question. How can I help you?
-People play three roles: Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer. As leader, you have to discover what exactly does the person needs or wants from you.
6. The Strategic Question. If you are saying YES to this, what are you saying NO to?
– “The essence of strategy is choosing what NOT to do.”-Micheal Porter
-Saying yes more slowly means being willing to stay curious before committing.
7. The Learning Question. What was most useful for you?
-Reflection is a form of practice. We can’t grow unless we reflect on our success and FAILURES.
-Experience is not the best teacher, EVALUATED experience is.
The Coaching Habit was a great read. It opened my mind even more to why questions are answer. The key takeaways from this blog are, learn how to ask the right questions, listen before speaking. Lastly, become more interested, then interesting. Clarity is power and the only way you can understand someone’s point of view is by asking QUESTIONS.
Quote of the Day: “Listening is the only vehicle to learning.”