I will often say that Better Questions are a real gift and that in everyday situations very rarely do people bring a question to conversations that enable you to really stop and think. Thinking is critical to our success in life and work and having such a simple technique to change/prompt/challenge/generate new thought is really powerful. I recall that Wayne Dyer published a book called Change Your Thinking, Change your Life and this title, I feel, very aptly tells us why we need to pay attention to our thinking.
In this blog I thought I would explore the idea of using what I call ‘magic wand’ questions in the hope that when you are more familiar with them you can start using them more often. Not surprisingly a ‘magic wand’ question is one that enables a more creative and less restricted space in your mind to find new thoughts that your routine and restricted thinking doesn’t allow.
One of the best examples of a ‘magic wand’ question is where a care worker was talking with an elderly gentleman who made a comment to her that he’d always dreamed of going on one of Australia’s great train journeys, but that he was now too old to undertake such a journey. Ordinarily the lady admitted that she would empathise with the gentleman and reply that it was a shame that he was now too old.
However, given that she had undertaken our training on asking Better Questions, she thought for a while and came up with a ‘magic wand’ question to ask: “I know you think you are too old, but if you thought it was possible to still go on this train journey what would you do?” I hope that you can see that this question acts like a ‘magic wand’ because it takes away the limitation and enables the person to be freed up to think of possible solutions. In this instance it had a profound effect as the gentleman suddenly realised that there was a way he could go on this journey, and whilst it would take a bit of planning and collaboration it was indeed possible.
The end result of this question being asked was that the gentleman fulfilled his dream of going on one of Australia’s great train journeys two months after this initial conversation. He worked out that he could indeed undertake the travel with the support of a good neighbour and the tour company.
This magical result all started with the Better Question unlocking his routine thinking. No wonder I get excited about asking Better Questions!!!