Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Are You Asking the Right Quesitons?

by Ann Meacham
When you are challenged to relate positively with someone at work or at home, there is resistance, or actual conflict, have you asked yourself how you might improve the situation?  Often solutions elude us because we are asking ourselves the wrong questions.
In her book, “change your questions, change your life,” Marilee Adams shared what she calls “Judger” questions.  These questions cause us to come across as argumentative, arrogant and know-it-all.  When you judge, you make it almost impossible for anyone else to make a suggestion or contribution.

Judger Questions:

What’s wrong?
Who’s to blame?
How can I prove I’m right?
Why can’t I be successful?
How could I lose?
How can I be in control?
Why are they so clueless and frustrating?
Why bother?

Notice how you feel when you are having these thoughts (and we all do at times.)  If we’re in the Judger Pit we can feel stuck, overwhelmed, negative, depressed. 

A more productive way of thinking can be inspiring, stimulate curiosity, and create the relationships that will help us succeed.  Consider these:

Learner Questions:
What am I responsible for?
What are the facts?
What outcome do I want?
What are my choices?
What’s useful about this?
What can I learn?
What is the other person feeling, needing, and wanting?
What’s possible?

The natural or normal working of our mind leaves us at the mercy of other people’s opinions, the whims of our own moods, and the negative influences of our upbringing.  When you pause to ask yourself questions, it gives you time to think about the best response or action.

If you want to be successful in your relationships, you must face facts about your role or influence. 

The most effective communication is about 20% telling and 80% asking.  You’d be amazed how many things would improve just by paying attention to that one principle.

The Judger tends to create Win-Lose scenarios.  The Learner creates a Win-Win.  Are you a Judger or a Learner?  How can you tell?


Ann Meacham, president of Leadership Dynamics works with business owners and executives to clear their blind spots so they will know how to succeed in their business. Call her: 860-788-3504  ann@leadyourteams.com  Sign up for a Free Leadership Strategy Session.

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