Just ask the question!

ask the right question

I’m reading an Elon Musk book at the moment and came across the following quote:

“One of the really tough things is figuring out what question to ask. Once you figure out the question, then the answer is relatively easy.”

I loved this quote because this is the premise of coaching and knowing the power of the right question is the reason I do what I do.

Here are a few stories of how changing the question can unlock a powerful choice….

Example #1

I remember being quite disillusioned in the Corporate world and it suddenly hit me. I’d been asking myself what else was there outside of the Corporate world. I changed the question to why I was disillusioned. I suddenly got really clear on the need to ‘feel’ the impact of what I was doing on the end client, which in turn required working directly with clients and being in some sort of control of the product/service.

A very long story short, this subtle shift in question made the next career choice very clear.

Example #2

Over-hearing two friends looking over a menu at a restaurant….

One friend asks the other: “What do you feel like?”

Response: “The better question is what will make you feel better tomorrow?”

Over-hearing this from two complete strangers changed my meal choice!

Example #3

A board with misaligned Partners discussing a potential Merger.

This conversation went around in circles for some time teasing out pros/cons, and linking other unrelated issues. It wasn’t until we re-framed the question that the choice became possible.

What was the primary context for the Merger?  Short-term return-on-investment, the longevity of the core business, or to keep the Directors engaged with something new?

The unanimous view was ROI, which did not stack up to the return the core business could yield if it received more focus and less distractions. The proposal was dismissed promptly!

Love to hear other stories of the power that sits in finding the right question.

Focus: Getting leaders out of the trenches. Leaders who don’t have time to lead are a common feature of growing businesses. Ivan can fix that.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on September 1, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Bravo – well said!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.