A well-crafted question is a power tool because it focuses your attention and draws out your best insight and wisdom. That's why coaching is primarily the art of question-asking (and listening). It's also why we can use well-designed questions to essentially "coach" ourselves into the best path forward in our business.
"The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life."--Tony Robbins (author, entrepreneur, life coach & business strategist)
Today I'm going to share two of my favorite power questions for getting clear on your best next steps. I'll also take you "behind the scenes" of how the questions are designed, and share why they work.
DEVELOP A STRATEGY THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Make sure your days are devoted to the right things
An entrepreneur’s days are full and most people’s to-do lists are massive. So in order to accomplish what we wish to achieve it’s essential that we shift our focus from completing the tasks on our list to focusing our time, attention, and resources on the right things.
“You’re efficient when you do something with minimum waste. And you’re effective when you’re doing the right something.” —Robert Cialdini, author & professor of marketing at Stanford
Take time to figure out what those things are
Last week I shared about the balance of working IN and working ON your business. In business it’s essential to regularly step back and look at the big picture, so I offered the format I recommend for those pause-reflect-and-strategize sessions:
Power questions reveal your best path forward
I've collected a small library of power questions over the years, each of which are perfect for certain kinds of strategizing, but today I want to share my two trusty favorites for discovering your best next step:
The LEVERAGE Power Question
This question is designed to help you leverage your time, energy, and resources by determining the single most important thing to focus on.
It comes from Gary Keller, author of The ONE Thing, The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. This power question can be used at any level—from developing your ten year plan, to identifying your monthly goal, to deciding what to do the moment you finish reading this email.
The Leverage Power Question is: "What's the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?"
This question helps close the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It shows you how to topple dominoes in your business. By narrowing your focus from All.The.Things to ONE THING, you are forced to choose the task or project that will make the biggest difference.
As someone who spent four years living with debilitating chronic illness that often shortened any work day to just a couple hours, I learned deeply the value of determining the ONE thing that would most effectively move things forward. Since I spent most of my day lying down, I couldn't afford to dedicate time or energy to anything that wasn’t absolutely essential and I learned to determine what exactly that was, any given day or moment.
This question can also be “stacked” for an even more powerful effect. Meaning that if you determine your ONE thing for the year it makes it easy to determine your ONE thing for the quarter, which makes it easy to determine your ONE thing for the month, week, day, and moment. When you stack this question you waste zero time flitting between tasks or wondering what to do. I highly recommend Gary Keller’s book for more details on how to make the most of this leverage question.
The ALIGNMENT Power Question
This question is designed to help you step out of your head and into the flow of life so that your efforts are aligned with an intelligence greater than your to-do list.
This power question came to me from my mentor, Ro Marlen, who is a Medical Intuitive, Medicine Woman, and Embodiment Mentor that shows wounded healers and cultural change-agents how to become their own medicine and bring that medicine to the world.
The Alignment Power Question is: “What wants to happen now?”
Instead of navigating the day according to the dictates of our own limited intellect, we can tap into a larger intelligence that is always unfolding in the present moment.
When you’re focused on the tasks on your list, scarcity of time, and stress about what remains to be done it’s easy get stuck efforting your way through the day instead of operating in flow. This question shifts your attention from future to the present moment, where we continually receive little nudges, signals, or intuitions that when heeded, steer us to the best possible outcomes and connections.
When practiced regularly, this question has a powerful way of bringing you back to the present moment and where life is flowing. The more I ask this question and heed the sometimes mysterious answers that arise, the more I experience ease in my work day. Alignment is the gift of doing what is yours to do and having the wind at your back (instead of fighting against it).
Assess where you are now, where you want to be, and develop clear action steps that get you to your desired transformation
I hope you enjoy experimenting with these two trusty power questions. If you want to move from coaching yourself to working with a strategist to determine your best next step, we invite you to schedule a Business Clarity Session with us to explore how The Paradigm Shift Project can help your business get where you want to go.
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