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How to ask great questions

As children we ask questions until our parents’ ears explode!  But as we get older we stop asking questions.  Maybe it’s because we stop wanting to learn?  Maybe because we stop being curious?  Maybe because we don’t want to appear stupid?

Asking questions is a powerful way to create new insights and unearth limiting assumptions.  Here are a couple of my favourites.

What makes these great questions?

What will happen if you do nothing?  
Sometimes we get caught up in action and implementation.  Stopping to consider that we might not need to do anything can save us valuable time and resources.

Whose voices are not being heard?
Putting yourself in the shoes of others is a creative way to look at a problem from multiple perspectives.  It will give you a new understanding of the situation and highlight potential solutions.

How can you reframe this issue?
David Rock, in his book “Your Brain at Work” says that re-framing a negative situation in a positive light can help you think more creatively about it, and help you solve the problem.

If you knew the answer, what would it be?
Based on Nancy Kline’s “incisive question”, asking this (seemingly silly) question allows your brain to remove the limiting assumption that you don’t know the answer.  Try it, and you’ll be amazed at what you didn’t think you knew!

 

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