The Phantom of the Question

Ever notice the pressure we put on ourselves to come up with the answers? Well, not just any answers but the “right” answers.  And what exactly is the right answer anyway? Who gets to say? And does the right answer really exist? I’m not talking about mathematical equations and questions of science here, but questions about business and career, family and friends, love and relationships, finances, health and well-being, etc. Think the answers to the questions posed in these areas of your life are clear-cut? Giving our egos more stage time than “The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest running show in Broadway history, we tend to think so and we often aim to prove it. (How’s that working for you?)

If you want to find answers that put you in the spotlight and drive results worthy of a standing ovation, consider seeking them inside a series of empowering and thought-provoking questions.  Ask these questions not only of yourself, but others as well. Why? Because you completely open the conversation and connect yourself with those around you in a way that’s incredibly powerful.  You create a space for other's to contribute and to shine. And, you step away from the world of “I’m right / you’re wrong” which does nothing short of shutting everyone down and draining everyone’s energy, including your own.  

Next time you find yourself feeling like you’ve got to be the Shell “answer man” (or woman), open up yourself, and the situation, to questions like:

·  What assumptions am I (are we) making?

·  How else can I (we) think about this?

·  What am I (are we) missing or avoiding?

·  How can I (we) be more objective?

·  What is the other person thinking, feeling, wanting?

There are literally hundreds of questions you could be asking; it’s simply a matter of stepping inside the inquiry.  And don’t worry about asking the right question because like right answers, there are no right questions. You’ll know you’re on the right path as long as you’re asking them.  (Any questions?)