The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change


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The New Socratic Method

See a Problem?

What are you most proud of in life? When was the last time you woke up feeling optimistic or excited about the day ahead? Where would you be if all obstacles in your way ceased to exist? Where would you be if you had unlimited resources? Where do you fear ending up if nothing changes? Is there anything you believe in so strongly, you would be willing to sacrifice for it? Determine obstacles For both coach and client, setting goals is often the hardest part.

Here are some questions a coach can ask: Are there any steps you could take right away that would significantly improve your situation? Which of your goals require assistance from other people, and which ones depend entirely on you? What obstacles have you faced in the past, and how did you overcome them? What mistakes have you made in the past, and what did you learn from them?

Leadership Quiz

What are the biggest issues you face on a daily basis? What emotions are you feeling right now?

Getting started with Assessment for Learning

How often do you tell people what you really want? Asking follow-up questions The follow-up questions are more important than the initial questions; they show the client you are listening, and help you get to the heart of the issue. Examples of effective follow-up questions are: Initial question: What is the biggest obstacle you are currently facing? Ending a session The questions you ask at the end of a session give the client something to take home with them, and can help pave the way for the next session.

What is one thing you can do between this session and the next that will improve your situation? Share Know this — suffering through this without mustering up the courage to change can cause damaging ripple effects throughout your life. I start here to with some personal context that comes to define the lives of so many of us — for far too long. The truth is, all of us are going to struggle. All of us will suffer. Do yourself a favor and watch his commencement speech at Maharishi University, shared here:. I continue to come back to this one:.

Meditate and think deeply on those powerful words. Adversity sharpens and strengthens us. I go back to his powerful words above. The example Carrey gives in his speech comes from the real-life story of his father! The safe path. Turns out, he was wrong. And fortunately, his son decided to learn from this poignant life moment, and follow his true dream.

Whether it had only been just a side-gig or hobby, or of course a true profession as an actor and comedian.

A Giant List Of Really Good Essential Questions

I bet there are more people than you think — who are in your life right now — whose lives you can influence and perhaps change forever. Walk through the door and begin by asking yourself what you can do to change your professional and personal environments for the better.


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How can you be more positive and more adventurous in challenging yourself to do more for others, while simultaneously improving your own circumstances? The more you think about this and use it to guide you, the more likely you will feel compelled to take action and do things for the benefit of others. The results will add amazing richness and value to your life. This one struck the greatest chord with me.

Maybe you know the feeling. You immediately set the ceiling very low. You stop imagining and dreaming, and begin to settle. Settling for less is a huge mistake. Doing what you love and working your heart out for it is always a great move. This means that you take on greater risk. Thus you have to see yourself as others see you. What do people perceive your motivations to be?

Identity in question

Behavior change is hard enough to accomplish when people are willing to engage in the process. When they have reason to shy away from it because they are concerned about your motives, then you have made things even more challenging for yourself. While any one of the suggestions provided below for helping others change will work to some degree on its own, combining them is even more effective.

If you want other people to change, start with yourself and make sure the things you want them to change about themselves are things you do effectively yourself. It is important to engage visibly in the goals that you want them to adopt. When you lead by example, your actions will serve as a source of goal contagion for other people in your environment.

Say Less, Ask More: 7 Powerful Coaching Questions - WBP 018

Your actions help people see how a goal can be accomplished successfully. Many professors I know make a point of working in their offices with their doors open. They would probably be more productive keeping their doors closed or perhaps even working from home. They would get more done if they were interrupted less often.

The point of working in a visible way, though, is to give students a sense of what is required for success in academia. To balance teaching classes, doing research, writing papers, reviewing papers for journals, writing grants, and doing administrative service for the university, most faculty I know put in long workdays. Faculty talk to their students about the importance of putting in this time, but it is easier for students to internalize the effort needed to succeed by seeing their faculty mentors at work. A goal is an end state that provides a focus for your motivational energy.

Goals that are near in time get more energy than goals that are distant in time. The more active the goal, the bigger the influence on behavior. Consequently, you are biased against doing things that will pay off in the long run when there is some other activity you could do now to achieve a short-term goal. So if you want to help someone change, your task is to help him or her formulate daily short-term goals that will ultimately lead to long-term success— and then help them remember those goals.

Think like a business selling a product. Most businesses would never survive if they sold a product to a person only once.

If you show people the conditions in which the product is used—through, say, an ad or product placement in a movie—then they will be reminded to use the product in those situations when they encounter them later. The same is true of drinking less alcohol or getting more exercise—the goal is important, but it helps to be constantly reminded of that goal. Feedback can influence the mindset people adopt about behavior and motivation.

What Is Introspection? A Definition

However, underlying this statement is the idea that willpower is an entity that cannot be changed. The dieter might be exhibiting great willpower in that circumstance, but if he gives in to temptation in some other circumstance, does that now mean that he has reached the limits of his willpower? It is better to give positive feedback that does not reinforce an entity mindset. What is your secret? This kind of feedback promotes an incremental mindset, which acknowledges that most abilities are skills that can be nurtured.

The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change
The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change
The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change
The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change
The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change
The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change The 4 Most Important Questions You Can Ask : Powerful Lessons in Personal and Professional Change

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