The Power of Asking Yourself Questions!

The Power of Asking Yourself Questions!


“What if…?” - Just two words but the answer to this question could change your world!

Questions form a daily part of life and business. We ask other people questions frequently. We ask questions to collect information: to understand, to learn, and to help solve problems.

Being mindful of the questions you ask other people can make a huge difference to your life, business and career. Many years ago, back in my IT sales role I noticed that I often asked clients ‘closed’ questions – these are questions that invite a “yes” or “no” answer. For example, “Are you ready to start the project?”. The answer to this question provided me with limited information – typically just a “yes” or “no”. A more helpful question would have been “When will you start the project?” or “What needs to be in place before you start the project?”. These questions are examples of ‘open’ questions which do not invite a “yes” or “no” answer. ‘Open’ questions tend to be higher quality questions because they provide more useful information. From that point I increased my use of them!

ASKING YOURSELF QUESTIONS

We don’t go through life just asking other people questions, we also ask ourselves questions. We do this when we think. Thinking includes asking ourselves questions. These questions help us to evaluate, compare and measure. For example - we may evaluate our situation, compare ourselves to others and so on. Many of these thoughts can be on ‘autopilot’- they can be habitual thoughts – and research suggests on average we have 60,000 thoughts every day! When we ask ourselves (think) a poor-quality question, we get a poor-quality answer. This contributes to lowering our mood and if we get into a habit of asking (thinking) poor quality questions - this can create a negative mindset.

For example, the typical response to asking: “Why do I always mess up?” is “Because you’re an idiot!”. When you ask yourself a question, you are giving a command to your brain to come up with an answer. Your brain will search for the most likely response, which typically is linked to the type of question you ask. This question is actually stating: “…I always mess up”. The answer you receive: “Because you’re an idiot” is often a habitual response – and you’ll probably receive the response almost immediately because you are on ‘autopilot’. Imagine how many of your 60,000 daily thoughts could be both habitual and unhelpful?

USING POWERFUL QUESTIONS

Higher quality questions that really make you think are also called ‘Powerful Questions’. Powerful questions are an important component of Coaching. When a Coach asks their client a powerful question (at the right time) - this can provide the client with new insights into their situation. This is because they have to think differently to answer the powerful question - this can break habitual negative thinking.

Powerful questions can help the client to:

  • look at their situation from a different perspective
  • challenge their limiting belief
  • find a new solution to a problem
  • find a way forward

You don’t have to be in a coaching session to experience Powerful Questions. You just need to know how to ask yourself them. Here are a few tips:

  • Say it – rather than just thinking the question – ask it aloud.
  • Be mindful of using “Why?” questions – e.g. “Why do I have to do this?” as the answers aren’t typically helpful.
  • Be mindful of when you ask ‘closed’ questions. These tend to start with “Is…” or “Do…” or “Have…”. e.g. “Do I have to do this?”
  • Ask ‘open’ questions - start your questions with “What…”, “How…”, “When…” or “Who…” e.g. “How could I do this differently?” as this will give you a more helpful answer – something you can actually work with.
  • When you ask yourself the question, pause, perhaps close your eyes and try to visualize or ‘feel’ the answer. Note – it helps to be patient as sometimes the answer may not come to you until later in the day or later in the week.

MAKING IT A HABIT

How can you get in the habit of asking yourself powerful questions?

…by using morning questions.

Asking yourself just one powerful question first thing in the morning can help contribute to a great day, as your brain will search for a high-quality response to the high-quality question that you ask. The answer you receive can help to get your day off to a great start!

Here are some example powerful morning questions:

  • What can I do today to have a great day?
  • How will my life be better today?
  • What can I do today to make a difference to someone else’s life?
  • What can I do now to stop worrying about X [insert your problem/challenge here]?
  • What can I do today to resolve X [insert your problem/challenge here] that I’ve not thought of before?
  • How can I make a positive contribution to the meeting today?
  • How will I do things differently today?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What if I did things differently today?
  • What if I stopped worrying about this right now?
  • What else could this mean?

Of course, you can create your own powerful questions as well.

Why not ask yourself one question each morning for the next 30 days and see what happens?

You might just change your life!

I hope you enjoyed this blog, if you did, please like, comment and share.

Best Wishes,

Kevin

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“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?”

TESTIMONIALS FROM SOME OF MY MOST RECENT CLIENTS

I started my career coaching journey with Kev 12 months ago. I can say with all honesty that it's been life changing! He's given me the space and guidance I needed to look at my own thoughts and actions and it's lead to me being able to manage my anxiety and find drive and ambition I didn't know existed! I'd recommend coaching with Kev to anyone!
Nia Baker
Manager, UK
The reason I decided to look for a coach was to become unstuck in my career, within one session I gained the confidence to apply for a new job and got it! I needed clarity on what I wanted in my working life which inevitably with Kev’s coaching style bumped into other areas of my life that needed fine tuning. I seemed to have a gap between the real me and the outdated story I was telling myself. With Kev’s help I was able to realise I didn’t need to be more, less, better or worse, that I was resourceful already, can use my intuition to good effect and that it was OK being me. Kev’s relaxed style made it easy for me to move forward and I left each session feeling positive. I would thoroughly recommend giving Coaching a go with Kev.
J.A. North Wales
,
I found Kevin an incredibly talented as a coach. From the first session I had with him, I could tell the deep knowledge and passion he has toward helping his clients. His uplifting skills and positive energy helped me to open up in many aspects of my life and business path. I enjoyed his new approach that he used in every coaching session. You will be thinking that he is done with you, then he'll surprise you about a challenge that will stretch your brain in many ways. Kevin is a coach by nature, and by many other natural traits that he demonstrates during his sessions. I would highly recommend Kevin as both a career and personal coach. In fact his broad experience in both life and business is what makes him a wonderful coach and a human being to work with.
Sairan Aqrawi
Engineer, U.S.
I was a bit sceptical when I started Business Coaching. But now I am so pleased I did! Kev managed to bring out the business skills I had forgotten I had and gave me the confidence to tackle some issues I knew I had to address but had put off. Our conversations allow me to bounce off ideas that I couldn’t digest during the normal working day and gave me food for thought. After each session I felt refreshed and ready to take on whatever was thrown at me. He has a knack of asking questions that he knows you have the answers to if you dig deep enough and encourages you to find them and to believe in yourself.
Karen Anfield
Director, 3X Software Ltd
I hired Kevin as my Business Coach while I was starting my new business and also going through a divorce. Kevin's compassionate nature and solution-focused approach helped me move forward with my business while experiencing a great deal of personal transition. Kevin allowed me to discover clarity and focus while providing me with excellent accountability through our coaching together.
Carla Kerner
Business Owner, Seattle, U.S.
Kevin was fully committed to me as his client, this projected an extraordinary positive energy in the sessions which created a trustful and empowering environment to enable me to find my path for my goals. During my journey of coaching with Kevin I was in one of those “life crash moments”, he helped me to understand who I am and what I want, which has been an extraordinary remedy to bring me peace and happiness. Thank you, Kevin!
Isabel Rodriguez
Manager, Luxembourg
During my sessions with Kevin, he was able to coach me to a much sharper focus on my issues. In a very short time I gained a deeper insight, new learning and a clear way forward. The sessions were delightfully surprising, effective and professionally delivered.
Jennifer Challenger
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operations Officer, eg+ worldwide
Over the last 6 months Kevin has worked with me as my Executive Coach, during this time he has coached me through a number of key areas. As a coach, he is very calm, knowledgeable and most importantly insightful, he has a great ability to ask the right question or use the right intervention just at the right moment. Working with Kevin has been a very reinforcing and positive experience, where he has afforded me the time and space to allow me to work through the areas I brought to each session in a creative and supportive manner. Kevin is a very natural Coach and I would highly recommend him.
Alan Cheung
Group SHE Operations and Behavioural Management Director, Costain Group plc
Being coached by Kev has given me the opportunity to unashamedly think just about myself and the future and to get clarity about my own business development without feeling time-pressured. It’s lonely at the top: I don’t have anyone to talk to about decisions affecting my businesses. No-one should be an island. I was an island before Kev. Coaching is unlocking my blocks. Having the experience of someone else who is in business and speaking through solutions has been very beneficial to me. Coming up with a list of achievable goals to deliver and knowing you need to deliver them is what I wanted out of the coach - and is what I am getting.
Shelly Barratt
Founder and Director, Coya Marketing