A few years ago when I attended the Lifeworkx (lifeworkx.com) training developed by Steve Aldrich, I learned a lot about myself and who God had made me to be. It was a wonderful five-week learning experience and I’m so grateful for Steve’s commitment to creative learning techniques and interactive training. I’m also very grateful for Dave and Debbie who mentored my wife and I through the entire process.
One of Steve’s skills that I appreciated so much was asking powerful questions. It didn’t matter if we were sitting in the dinging hall or participating in a session, Steve had an amazing knack for asking just the right question to make you think before you would be able to answer.
What Makes a Question Powerful?
Think about this for a moment. Not every question is a powerful question. And while many people will tell you there are no stupid questions, most of us would admit that there are lots of questions that really aren’t helpful.
1. Powerful questions are always helpful.
2. Powerful questions require thoughtful reflection.
3. Powerful questions may require a pause before answering.
4. Powerful questions raise your awareness.
5. Powerful questions uncover possibilities and options.
6. Powerful questions evoke discovery.
7. Powerful questions challenge a person’s cognitive frame.
8. Powerful questions bring forth thoughts and ideas that have not yet been considered or spoken.
9. Powerful questions move you forward in amazing ways!
10. Powerful questions are subjective – may not be powerful for everyone everywhere.
Here’s a powerful question that Steve asked me that summer:
What leaves the room when you do?
This question is powerful because it requires thoughtful reflection. It raises your awareness about yourself. It certainly evokes discovery. And the answer to this question may move you forward in amazing ways.
Whether you are coaching, discipling, or mentoring others, asking powerful questions is a great skill to develop. I’ve found that as I coach, I need to slow down and not be in such a hurry to ask another question. When I do this, the questions I ask are often more thoughtful and also more powerful.
I’d encourage you to invest some time in developing better questions. The result of asking better (more powerful) questions will be seen as the person answering has deeper awareness and greater insight as they reflect on the answer.
Why not take a moment and answer this question in the comments below – What leaves the room when you do? And please share one of your powerful questions for others to ponder.