“Leading with Questions” is a book written by Michael Marquardt who talks about leadership and how leading with questions is the future of effective and lasting leadership. It is a very informative book that can be applied not just to your management style in the work place but also in your personal life. I can recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve their communication skill and personal development to increase your results.
In this post I would like to focus more about leading with questions that we, both you and I, ask ourselves on a daily basis that could have a dramatically positive or negative impact on our lives. What is our response to life events and how do we ask questions that empower us rather than disempower?
Yes, some questions will confirm our beliefs and keep us trapped while other questions will inspire us to search and find solutions to the challenge of the moment.
Let’s look at a quick example of how this type of questioning can play out in our lives when it comes to our health.
Bob has decided to go on a diet and exercise routine to reduce his weight, increase his energy levels and improve his overall health. One of Bob’s action steps is to reduce the quantity of food at each meal. Now, on the new health program Bob sits down with friends to enjoy a meal. He is having such a good time that he completely forgets about limiting his food and calorie intake. At the end of the meal Bob realizes he has eaten too much, again!
Bob automatically starts the internal dialogue in his head which sounds something like this…”Why do I always consume too much every time I sit down to eat?” “How come I just can’t eat a normal size meal like everyone else?”
Now the way the brain works it will automatically look for answers to these questions. They are disempowering questions and the answers will only fuel and exacerbate the problem. The answers could sound something like this..Because it is too hard for you to eat less, your need to eat big meals to feel good, you love big servings etc…
Bobs mind will search out the answers to his disempowering questions and not look for solutions.
Now what would happen if Bob asked a more empowering question like…”How can I remember to limit my portions when sitting down to have a meal?”.
Bob’s mind will now search for answers to a different question and could possibly come up with these answers…”I could set an alarm on my phone to remind myself 5 minutes into the meal, I could share with my guests my health goal and ask for their support, I could put my utensils (knife /fork/chopsticks) down after every mouthful and chew slowly”.
Can you see how our brains will search for the answers to the questions that we ask? Leading with questions, empowering questions will give empowering answers.
Start to become aware of your internal and external dialogue and start to bring some awareness to the types of questions you are posing. Once you have a new awareness of your questioning style it then affords you the opportunity to make changes if needs be.
Just this one practice alone is so powerful to make substantial lasting positive changes in your life.
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