How to Ask Great Questions PART THREE

When you are in any advisory capacity, perhaps you are a sales person, a coach, a trainer, a confidante of any kind for that matter, one of the most sensible and effective ways to assist a person who wants to make a change is to ask good questions.
Here’s how.

What can good questions achieve?
Questions lead your listener to a conclusion.
Questions bypass distractions, they focus people.
Questions take the edge off a direct command – you are not trying to force anybody to do anything.
Questions build confidence and give credit, credit where it deserves to be placed.
Questions can be framed with positive presuppositions – all sentences contain presuppositions.
Questions are often the catalyst for change.
In short, questions can be the answer.

Perhaps the most powerful question you can ask to help a person who may be unsure of what direction to take, or they may feel blocked by some kind of limiting belief, or even if they hit a mini-crisis is:
“What do you want?
And, of course, this needs to be asked in the right tone.

You can proceed from there, and help a person who may be in a stuck state, get them moving again, and allow them to use their natural resilience, and, of course, their resources.

If a person answers by saying “I don’t know!” attempt to open them up with a little coaxing.
Just ask: “If you did know, “What would the answer be?”
Again, using the right tone.

If they tell you something like I “can’t do” something then ask them:
“What would happen if you did?”
This overcomes the notion that they do not have any alternatives, they do not have any options.

Generally, they always do.
If they answer with anything that leaves them with no alternatives, and no options, for example, if they say “I must” do something, then you can challenge them in a similar way.

At all times, be warm but decisive as you probe further.
Make sure they do not become defensive.

Any kind of hesitation or negativity where they believe they can’t do something can be sensitively challenged in this manner.
Just ask them:
“What stops you?” or “What prevents you?” and follow this up by asking:
“What would happen if you did?”

That completes this part.
The message here is to back your intuition, pick up when and how to ask the right question.

Remember, you may well have the right question, an essential question, a valid question, but poor timing can result in nothing more than a blank stare.