So much of our power to create change lies in the questions we ask.
Questions can encourage and invite what is possible – or they can shut down conversation in an instant.
Questions can bring out the best in everyone in the room, or they can set an entire roomful of people’s teeth on edge.
Questions that inspire, that bring people to their best – those questions are about raw potential. To be about raw potential, they must be open-ended, but not every open-ended question invites raw potential into the room.
Here are 3 questions we have found that do just that. When you are in a meeting that isn’t going well – or if you are in conversation with someone who is closing down, becoming more and more negative – try these questions on and see how they fit.
- What would it make possible if __________________? (Bonus question: What would it take for that bigger possibility to be a reality?)
- What if it turns out those assumptions are not true?
- What’s the worst that can happen? (Bonus question: And what would that worst thing make possible?)
The next time you are in a meeting, and you feel the lump in your throat, warning you that fear has taken over the room, try these questions, and see what happens.
And please, add your own Questions that Change Everything to the list in the comments!
3 thoughts on “Questions that Can Change Everything”
Let’s not forget the follow on question to what would that make possible?: why is that important? I find this second question really grounds the conversation in actuality, e.g. it answers the issues of viability and feasibility. I’m continually grateful to CTF for this insight! My own questions revolve around a persons thinking process. They typically include ‘think’, e.g. what do you think, or what are your thoughts on …, or what changes in your current thinking would you need to address to accomplish X?
Meryl, you always make us smile! And Jonathan, yes yes YES! We are what we think. And “What is important about that?” is HUGE!!! 🙂