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. 

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