Using Questions To Engage and Motivate

May 9, 2019
May 9, 2019 Lindsay Tighe

Using Questions To Engage and Motivate

I was reminded of an article I had read several years ago recently when I was discussing one of the key reasons why we should be using a more Questioning approach to engage and motivate people. In the article, which was written by a neuroscientist and talked about how the brain works, it advised that when we solve a problem for ourselves it is clear that at the moment of insight various neurotransmitters like adrenaline are released as well as possibly serotonin and dopamine. What this means in reality is that when you enable someone to have their own idea through asking a Better Question they will feel far more motivated about that idea than if they have simply been told what to do.

As I am quite a visual person I thought it would be nice to try to represent the event of the insight triggering positive feelings in a picture and the following is what I came up with:

Questions Engage and Motivate


I love this simple little diagram that so beautifully represents what happens when a question enables the person to think about something and then get their own idea. I know myself that there are many times when I have been enabled through being asked a Better Question to get my own idea and actually consciously felt that rush of adrenaline and feel good hormones into my system. I am sure that you have heard of the eureka moment when people have an unexpected breakthrough idea or discovery and I’d like to suggest that this is something very similar that can happen when we use Better Questions.

So my advice to you on this blog is to please be aware of the power of the question in terms of gaining engagement, buy in and motivation. If we want to support people to change, they need to come to an idea themselves, to give their brain the best chance of being energised by the creation of a wide scale new map. The best way to bring about this insight is not to think about people’s issues for them, but to help people reflect more deeply and support them in their ability to generate ideas by asking Better Questions. Telling clearly does not have the same powerful impact.