1 Sep
2010

If you want a different answer, then ask a different question

As a coach working with people for their personal or professional develoment, one of the challenges is to help the person find out what they really want to change in their lives and effective ways to bring out the changes they desire.  The relatively "easy" part is to decide on actions to achieve the changes, but if the underlying motives for change are not uncovered beforehand, then any actions may be ineffective, a waste of time and frustrating, to say the least.  Finding out the 'value' that people place on the changes they want to make, and what how they will benefit has far more lasting impact, and often quicker to realise.

To give you an example of a way of making the difference between actions and values, here are a couple of questions you might want to consider:

Imagine that you have come in to some money - £100,00.00. What would you do with that money?

Typical answers I get are:   pay off the mortgage or any debts;  have a good holiday; buy a new car, and so on.

However, asking a slightly different question will give a different kind of answer.

If you did have £100,00.00, what would it give you?

Typical answers I get are:  peace of mind, security, stress-free living and so on.

The first answer says what actions people would take with the money.  The second reveals more what people value in their lives - a totally different answer, just by rephrasing the question. So in finding out what people value, the actions which follow usually have a far more significant impact on the changes that people make in their lives and be far more motivational to succeed.

Try out the questions in your personal and professional life and see what answers come up for you.  In business, you might want to ask "what can we do to be number one?"  or "what would it give us to be number one?".  "If you had the best job in the world, what would it give you?"

 

 

 

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