Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen
on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
March 9, 2008
“Change Your Questions, Change Your Life”
Guest:Dr. Marilee Adams, Inquiry Institute
The Questions we ask lead to Decisions which lead to Behaviors and Actions which lead to Results.To change the Results, we thus need to start with changing our Questions.
We have two mindsets with us at all times – the Learner and the Judger.One is in the foreground, the other in the background waiting to jump out.It is important to put ourselves into a neutral observer mindset, and then consciously choose one over the other to affect outcomes.
·Learner Mindset Questions are thoughtful, accept in an unbiased way, are like those of an inquisitive researcher, are flexible and adaptive, inclusive, built on win-win relationships, encourage dialogue, result in feedback seen as helpful, operate in resolution and innovation-seeking mode.
·Judger Mindset Questions are more problem solving, can easily move to finding blame, discover on the known outcomes and shift into debate and advocate dynamics with win-loose outcomes.
Question Thinking is an internal question and answer process, where the answers drive our results.So, if we can determine the right questions, we can create the answers we want.
Most often the questions are far more powerful than the answers; yet, in our hyperactive, impatient, answer-driven culture, we push to go fast and often then miss the opening for real change.
·Every question missed is a crisis waiting to happen.
·Effective communication is about 20% telling and 80% asking.
Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can choose what we do with what happens.Learners take ownership; Judgers place blame.
Do you have an awareness and then control of your mindset and questions, or do they have control of you?Who is in charge?
Additional Thoughts from Dr. Zara Larsen:
It is a rare personal attribute to contribute by asking questions and looking for what connections are missing.Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there and add value then in closing the gap.
Some might say “Don’t ask the question unless you are ready to deal with the answer”; but, in absence of asking questions, you won’t get to decisions or action or results.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008