I learn so much from the elderly and from children. Children are naturally geniuses. Amanda has this practice of staying in the question and as individuals we don’t naturally “stay in the question,” but children often do. I realized that it is the greatest tool to just ask questions of everything and every one. I don’t know if it’s because we are generally scared of knowing the answer or dealing with the reality, but it’s a recent revelation that life gets better if we “stay in the question.”
Asking questions is one of the most important ways to progress forward and cut out the assumptions we often make. I used to give advice and now I ask first if they even want advice! Hahaha – and sometimes they have said, “No, I just want to vent and for you to listen!” Great opportunity there! Maybe we might not get to the point because we don’t ask out of fear of the truth. That’s a sure way to guarantee you stay where you are and not grow at all. You won’t suffer more or less sadness and frustration; you may suffer it sooner (versus later with much more invested time) if you ask the question and get the truth you didn’t want to hear. However, the sooner you know those things, the sooner you fix it. Also and however, (picture me saying this excitedly and with great enthusiasm) it’s the simple questions that change things for the better fast, I think. We really get to know the people we care about so much better, too. The big deal about questions is they are the keys that unlock doors. We make assumptions, all of the time, about what people are impressed with, what people wanted to know, what they need, what they meant, etc. When we’re little children, we question everything; we are so curious about the world around us and we have no reason to not ask “Why?” This is how we can really bond with people. We can be delighted, too, by what the answer is. We can grow mentally because the answer can inspire us to understand and respond better etc. I think that’s beautiful.
Here are some examples: (these work for all ages, at work or play)
- Can you tell me more about that, so I can understand better?
- What was your worst part of the day?
- What was your best part of the day?
- What did you always want to ask me?
- What impressed you most about that?
- So what was your first and last impression?
- Did anything surprise you about that?
- How did that make you feel?
- What can I do better in this relationship? (Don’t flip it and tell them how they can do better)
- Can I ask you a question right now? (ask for permission before you interrupt and start talking)
- Where did you always want to travel?
- Do you think you contributed to that or was it all them?
- If you had a magic wand, what would the answer look like?
- What is your favorite color and why?
- Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with me?” Ask, “What’s right about me?” (there is lot’s – you are a blessing!)
- Instead of asking, “How can this get any worse?” Ask, “How can it get better?”
- Instead of saying, “Nothing will ever change.” Ask “What is possible that I haven’t considered yet?”