Not in an X-Files kind of way, although in these times that could also apply. But more in a “what are you taking for granted?” kind of way. Shake your head, so to speak – and see what falls loose in the process.
Questions are a fundamental element of coaching, and I will never fail to be astounded at the results they provoke. Truly – a well placed question can stop you in your tracks and reset an entire dialogue/worldview for the client, especially powerful when it’s a part of the flow and not part of an agenda. What are you feeling right now? Why are you holding on to it? What does this mean to you? Where are you now? When are you happiest? What what the world look like if you did THIS instead of THAT?
So. Many. Questions!
Kids know all about the power of questions – especially the younger ones. Full of ’em, all day every day. Non-stop. They’re actively trying to piece things together in their world to understand where they are in it and what’s possible. But somewhere along the line most of us stopped, thinking we’ve got it down. Adults like systems, and systems often don’t have a lot of room for questions.
Why are questions so powerful? I think there’s a bunch of reasons to that – the agreement between coach and client allows for intimacy and authenticity in a zone of safety, for one thing. That allows the client to explore a subject or area deeply and naturally, and with honesty. Suspending judgement lets something just BE, and as the client identifies it and names it they find themselves with more clarity around how it fits (or doesn’t) with the life they’re choosing. And that’s one of the key elements I want to stress here – the choice aspect.
Questions allow for consciousness, and consciousness allows for choice.
The reason I love questions is that they let us explore things that we’ve kind of got locked down. All of the assumptions, all of the known qualities, all of the tacit understandings. We get to poke them, prod them, see what they look like underneath and from above. See how they fit, and if they fit. See what could live there if they no longer fit. It’s exhilarating as a coach, and exhaustilarating (exhausting + exhilarating) as a client.
So. Here’s my ask. Let’s start questioning things a little more, and adding some more consciousness to our lives and our habits. Take a minute and think of a few assumptions you’ve got about work. Or home. Or family. Or whatever you choose.
Poke it. Prod it. Check it out from all angles, use all of the question words to bring it to life and see what you’ve got – and then see if it’s what you want and need. Questions are such an amazing starting place for building your reality – so let’s make it happen!