Are You Asking the Best Questions?

One of the seven ‘slight edges’ is Ask Affirming Questions. If you ever want to read a good book someday, read “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. In his book he teaches that inside each of us is a ‘servo-mechanism’ that looks for answers. He writes that our bodies are designed to look for the answers to the questions we ask. The problem is we ask bad questions. Have you ever sat down at home to pay your bills and when you were done you realized there’s still some month left at the end of the money? And you ask yourself really bad questions like, “Why am I always in debt?” Or, “Why can’t I get ahead?” Our bodies are designed to look for the answers, so if you ask “Why am I always in debt?” your body will think, “Well you’re maxed out on your credit cards, you only pay the minimum and every day on your way to work you stop and buy a five dollar latte.”

As a company leader, do you look into your sale reports and ask, “Why are sales so low this month?” Or, “Why isn’t marketing generating more leads?” Or, “Why don’t we have more referrals?” Our bodies are designed to look for the answers. So when we ask bad questions we come up with bad answers—answers that look at the problem and not at possible solutions. Instead, when you don’t like what you see for sales, ask affirming questions like, “What can we do to generate more referrals?” Or, “What does marketing need to create more leads?”

The rephrasing leads to reframing—it changes the way you look at the situation. You start to look for the solutions to the issues. 

Listen to the questions you ask yourself. Listen to the questions your staff asks themselves. Are they affirming or non-affirming? Do they look at the possible solutions or the problem? Start to change the approach you have when dealing with your issues or trying to achieve your goals. 

“Your Greatest Time Management Mistake”

What do you think is your greatest time management mistake? Allowing interruptions? Procrastination? Undisciplined meetings? Actually it’s none of these. 

The greatest time management mistake you make is all in your head, it’s deception. Too many leaders allow themselves to be deceived into losing valuable time.

I mean two things when I say deception. First, we deceive ourselves about our own level of importance. I believe you will have 4 to 7 things that only you can do, your highest priorities. But, because of deception, many leaders get wrapped up in their own importance and feel the number of things they are in charge of is much higher.  

Another way leaders deceive themselves.  Let’s say, your boss says, “I need you in that meeting today at 3:00.” You think, “Well, if the boss says I have to be there, it must be important.” But when you go to the meeting you find out it has nothing to do with you.  It’s because you were deceived into thinking, if the boss says be there, it must be important. Being deceived by your belief system will have you working on tasks that are unimportant.

Deception will steal your time.  Make sure you are working on tasks that you and only you can do.  Don’t get hung up on minor tasks.