What Are Powerful Questions?
One of the biggest ways you can help others is by learning to ask powerful questions.
So often, we try to offer advice, try to reassure, compliment, or encourage from our own experience. These are all good things, in the right time and place.
But when a friend is struggling, feeling stuck, or when they are not sure what to do next, learning to ask questions is one of your most useful tools to help.
Questions Drive Connection
Good questions help your friends explore. They lead to self exploration and self awareness. This kind of learning leads to ownership. Great questions leads to new discoveries.
Rather than offer a quick fix, push people away, or shut down the conversation, asking powerful questions can lead to life transformation.
Think about the people that have made a big impact on your life. Mentors, therapists, sponsors, older relatives, and friends. What makes them so influential in your life? Is it that they always tell you the next thing to do? Or do they trust you to figure things out? Do they ask you questions because they value you and what you think?
Asking questions is a way of respecting your recovery friendship. It shows you care and that you want to know what they think. Asking questions instead of just giving advice or problem solving implies that you trust that your friend has what it takes to learn and grow and get where he needs to go.
Ask people questions that help them open up, consider new points of view, become more purposeful, or explore their thoughts and feelings more deeply.
Ask more Questions
Here are some examples that can be helpful.
What are you grateful for?
What do you make of ______?
What are you afraid of?
What has been going well lately?
How are you growing?
What are you learning about yourself and others this week?
What are your triggers?
What do you know to be true right now?
What is the next right thing you can do?
What, if anything, are you avoiding in your life?
What do you need right now?
What could you have done differently?
What is the courageous choice?
What will a life of honesty, recovery, and freedom give you?
What has worked for you in the past?
Is there anything you don’t want me to ask you about right now?
How you did you become addicted?
How can I encourage you?
These are just a few to get you started. Write these questions down, take a screenshot, or journal them and their effect.
Commit to Asking More Questions
Be curious. Become a student of asking good questions. Practice at work, at school. Spend the rest of your life learning to ask your friends, your partner or spouse, and your accountability partners powerful questions.
Transform your next date by asking great questions. Here’s a list.
Practice asking powerful questions and see what kind of impact they make. Learn other questions you can ask. Notice the helpful questions others ask you.
But the key to asking powerful questions is not just to ask, it is to listen curiously, openly, and to be truly present when you ask.
What new questions will you ask your friends this week?
Now that is a question worth asking.
P.S. Currently when you check-in in rTribe it asks: “How do you feel today?”. It’s a good question to consider. We’ll also be adding a different ‘question of the day’ to help you reflect and grow more each day. Send us your best questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them in.