Asking the right questions is truly important. It's a well known topic in the world of therapy, coaching, consulting as well as in business and management. The idea is that by asking yourself and others the "right" questions you are directing the focus towards solutions rather than problems and you generally look at the brighter side of the world.
Although I am not overly enthusiastic in the above description I find it to be an extremely powerful "technique" that you can apply literally the moment you decide to and reap the positive results.
The concept is simple and the technique is there for everyone to use, but somehow it seems "asking the right questions" is either not as popular as it should be or not as easy as the description suggests.
So, what's stopping us from asking the magical "right questions" ?
The good news... once you are aware chances are you will start doing it :)
1. We Don't Get It!
That's right - we just don't get it just yet. "What's wrong with my questions?" "What do you mean by "right questions"?" "How will I know I am asking the right questions?", "Give me an example", "I can't think of good questions all day long, I am busy" ... !
So, to shed some light - Questions are important because that's essentially how we all think. When we say "I am thinking about..." we are actually saying "I am asking a series of questions about..." The question then determines the answer you will get and ultimately the results you will produce.
If you ask "Why can't I lose weight?" - your brain may say "well, 'because you are a pig'!" "Why am I depressed?" - "well, because your life sucks"; "Why does this always happen to me?" "Why are men/women so selfish/shallow, etc.?" "Why can't I make this work? .... you get the idea!
Your brain will ALWAYS give you an answer!
A good question directs your attention to a "solution mode". The "solution mode" is a habit that you create for yourself. It is impossible to think both in a "solution mode" and in a dis-empowering one. A good question about your weight for example would be: "How can I get to my ideal weight and enjoy it?" If you have an annoying colleague at work, instead of asking "Why are they so annoying?" - try "How can I work with them and enjoy it?", "How can I get along better/ change the environment/ overcome this...?" - Your brain will come up with an answer.
The more you practice, the more it becomes a habit and a way of thinking as opposed to a task you need to perform. If you try it and don't like the results you can always go back to not doing it! I doubt you will :)
2. It Is Challenging To Change!
It takes the same effort! OK, now you've got it, BUT you've spent years practicing your current way of thinking! It's been shaped by everything and everyone around you and if you were lucky you had some great examples! Most people tend to not be in a "solution mode" as much as they might like. What's important to know is that asking right or dis-empowering questions. It's neither more or less difficult to ask dis-empowering questions. It may seems easier now, because you have done it for years, but in fact, you have the power to change it into something far more beneficial for you. Practice is all it takes. A week is enough at the beginning.
3. We Actually Like Indulging in Not Taking Action/ Responsibility.
Face it - we do! When we are asking the right questions, they often lead to actions on our side. To make life better and brighter the general rule of thumb is "don't shift the responsibility for your happiness to someone else because you will never get it" but as great as this sounds it really asks for active participation and actioning.
So make a choice - would you like to shake things up a little and live differently? Start practicing and enjoy asking the right questions! It works, it's fun and it's better!