An empowering question is a thought provoking, open ended, challenging question that allows a person to look for answers and new opportunities. Tony Robbins is famous for saying “Successful people ask better questions and as a result, they get better answers.”
To enrich your relationships, become an active listener. Do not sit there waiting for your turn to speak. Actively listen to your partner and then respond. 20% of your action should be speaking, while 80% should be listening to your partner.
Coaches employ empowering questions to motivate and raise the consciousness of their clients. The object is to raise the client’s level of energy and then have the client face their problems from a position of higher energy and passion. The client will begin to realize options available to him that he didn’t notice when he was viewing them from a level of fear.
I have listed a few of my favorite empowering questions and how these questions will help you connect with people and raise your level of energy.
This is my favorite question to ask people. I was performing an exercise with my coach called the Miracle question. I closed my eyes and was read a quick narrative describing how I had awakened from a night’s slumber. I was told to envision that my challenge was completely solved, but since I was pretending to sleep during the exercise, I didn’t realize it. I just knew something was different.
At first, I thought the exercise was a complete waste of time. But when I awoke, I felt relaxed and energized. I told my coach my feelings, and he questioned me further. My coach saw the passion I had for my family every time we discussed them. I finally realized from that session what was the most important thing in my life and what my “who” was. My “who” was a loving, caring, dedicated father and husband. It then gave me the “what” and the “how” for my life. I was launching Gino’s Family website, and this conversation gave me the confidence to know that I was pursuing the right path. Who you perceive you are will get you what you want and how you will get it. I realized that I want to work and spend time with my family and I can achieve this goal by creating ginosfamily.com.
A clear example of this principle in life is when a person tries to lose weight. A person can lose weight, but many times they revert back to previous habits and the weight returns. They have not worked on their “who”, the inner thoughts and feelings that drive them. I was able to raise my consciousness in the previous example and removed any inner blocks that were holding me back.
This is a powerful question to ask a person who is struggling with an interpretation, a judgment that a person creates about an event and then believes it to be true. Having a person look at other ways lessens the power of an interpretation. Something happens in our life, an event occurs and we develop a story is also another way to define an interpretation. For instance, I tried emailing a friend but never received a response. I initially thought that he was not interested in talking to me. That was my interpretation. The truth was that he changed his email address and never received my correspondence.
This is a probing question that allows a person to explain what is truly important in his or her life. We all place values on things in life, and rate the importance of something on how valuable it is to us. For example, if someone places a high value on trust, then he will feel betrayed if that trust is broken. Another person who doesn’t value trust as important will not experience the same type of feeling. This is the reason why two individuals can view and have different feelings and emotions about the exact same situation.
I place a high value on family life and friends, so when I am stuck working long hours, I feel as if I am letting my family down. I tell myself that I need to work to support the family, but it still bothers me that I am not spending time with them. Having a person realize what is valuable will allow them to concentrate and work hard in that specific aspect of their lives.
Fear is a powerful emotion in our lives and holds people back from taking action. When you are feeling stress, you are giving something more significance than it really deserves. We all develop behaviors to reduce our stress. Some of us watch television, some overeat, some decide to reach for a cigarette and some of us (me included) get into an argument with others. You are using this behavior to distract yourself and remove that feeling of stress. These behaviors meet your need for comfort. The realization that these behaviors are directly related to stress can be empowering. You now have the awareness and the ability to change your behavior because you are responsible for creating your every thought and action. Once I realized that stress was a trigger for me to get into an argument, I chose to change my behavior.
I view every experience as a lesson to learn from, whether I succeed or fail. We are taught in school from a very young age that making a mistake is a bad thing. My opinion is that mistakes are a great way to learn. Most entrepreneurs will declare that they learned more from their mistakes than their successes. One of my favorite mentors, Robert Kiyosaki, from the Rich Dad Company, credits his current success to all of his previous failures. He had an extremely successful business in his twenties, and ended up losing the business and owing creditors hundreds of thousands of dollars. His wisdom from this experience allowed him to build his subsequent businesses into very profitable ventures. He calls making mistakes and learning an invaluable “process” and notes that the money does not make you rich but the knowledge enriches you.
I have a similar story to share. I bought a commercial property in New York several years ago. The investment has been a lot of work and hard ache, and has yielded a small return. But my experience from this one property has been immeasurable. It has given me the confidence and knowledge to venture into investing in multi-family properties. That “mistake” has led me to acquire over 500 apartment units in Tennessee. If I never purchased the commercial property, I might not have started investing in apartments.
What are you trying to accomplish this year?
This question is equally effective ask if I am coaching a client on his business or his personal life. How else do we know what we want to achieve if we do not give it proper consideration? Most people go through the motions in life and wonder why they lack a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. They have no clear idea of what they want to attain. If a business has no plan of action, then it will inevitably fail. Always ask yourself what you want to accomplish and make sure to revise and update your goals during the year. You will be astonished at how your goals will evolve during the course of a year. Once you identify a target and focus your energy, it will be much easier to hit it.
If you want to learn more about empowering questions, visit us at www.jakeandgino.com
What is your favorite empowering question? Let us know!