Today, I listened to a great presentation by Tal Ben-Shahar who teaches positive psychology at Harvard University. Interestingly, his 2 courses have been rated the most popular in the university. No wonder, he is so motivating.
The message he delivered was that if you want to change the reality of people’s lives then you need to change the questions you ask them. The right questions can change people’s lives. This is when miracles happen.
Think about when your life changed or you made a major change in your life. Was it because someone asked you a great question? Very often it is. I know many of my significant life choices have been prompted by a great question. Furthermore, I remember the people who asked me these life changing questions.
How do you ask these life changing questions, or what we call in our business powerful questions? They must be positive or what is often referred to as appreciative. Always come from a positive angle or the person’s strength, regardless of what the situation is.
If you want to be more structured or scientific about it, then you can have the person complete a behavioral profile first. Then you know their areas of strengths and interests to which the questions can be directed.
The same approach can be followed with a person in any area of your life: whether it be clients, team mates or family members.