The question is not, “How many questions do we ask ourselves in a day?”, but rather, “What is the quality of the questions we ask?”
The truth is, we are asking ourselves questions all day long:
- Should I have that second cup of coffee?
- Do I feel like going to the gym today?
- How am I possibly going to get the kids on time and meet this deadline?
- Where should we go on vacation?
- Why don’t I feel happier in my marriage?
- Why isn’t my team performing better?
Do any of these sound familiar?
Perhaps it is just me, but I find it mind-blowing…
Our minds are asking and answering questions all day long. Every action we take, choice we make, word we write is a response to a question. Much of this inquiring is happening under the radar of our consciousness, but it is happening all the time.
If you are not quite convinced, try testing it out. Choose an action, decision or communication. Ask yourself if that choice could really be classified as a response to one of the following questions (or a similar question):
- What is most important to me at this moment?
- What would keep me out of the most trouble?
- What would be the safest for me?
- What do I really need?
- What would I most enjoy?
- What do others expect me to do?
- What will get me/us to the goal the fastest?
- What would make me feel better?
The human mind was born to inquire; it is how we learn and grow. However, not all questions create the same effect.
- Some questions make us feel stuck while others open the doors to possibilities
- Some questions are rhetorical (the answer is assumed) and others are genuinely curious
- Some questions shut-down dialogue while others invite healthy communication
- Some questions disempower while others empower
- Some questions generate fear while others stimulate openness
Understanding the nature of questions and how they work – and learning to ask Productively Curious questions – can have a transformative effect on the quality of our lives, the strength and intimacy in our relationships, and the effectiveness of our leadership.
I am dedicating this entire year of blogging and podcasting on my show, Wonder Your Way to Brilliant, to exploring Productively Curious Questions. You can locate us on any podcast app, but to receive additional ‘subscriber only’ resources for exploring these questions and transforming your life, your leadership and your relationships, you will want to subscribe to our mailing list.
And you can begin getting Productively Curious right away with our three card decks – each offering 52 Productively Curious Questions: Live with the Courage to be Curious, Love with the Courage to be Curious, and Lead with the Courage to be Curious. www.liveleadlovecourageously.com.
Adina (Laver) Tovell is the founder and Chief Curiosity Officer of Courage to be Curious, LLC, a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to improving lives, organizational culture, and relationships of all kinds by harnessing the positive and productive power of curiosity. She provides limited private coaching to truly courageous individuals and offers memorable learning experiences for organizations through professional development days, lunch and learns, and corporate retreats. www.CouragetobeCurious.com/contact. Live Lead and Love card decks available at www.LiveLeadLoveCourageously.com.