Change Your Questions Change Your Life


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The concepts in Change Your Questions, Change Your Life are primarily derived from the principles of Question Thinking. Question Thinking is the idea that individuals have complete control over their thinking. Through the monitoring and evaluation of thinking, individuals can refocus the questions they ask in order to achieve more desirable results.
Question Thinking is a tool that enables productive thoughts rather than reactive thoughts.

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Change Your Questions Change Your Life

  1. 1. Some Impressionistic takes from the book Marilee Adams’s “Change your questions Change your life” by Ramki
  2. 2. About Marilee Adams Marilee G. Adams, Ph.D. is a founder and partner with The Center for Inquiring Leadership ( An executive coach and corporate consultant, she has spoken on the art of Question-Thinking and Inquiring Leadership to such organizations as Siemens Building Technologies, Lockheed Martin, NASA, the Society for Human Resource Managers, the American Society of Training and Development, and many others. Marilee’s background includes being a psychotherapist with over 25 years in private practice. She is the author of The Art of the Question: A Guide to Short-Term Question-Centered Therapy
  3. 3. Prelude Questions are at the core of how we listen, behave, think, and relate— as individuals and organizations. Virtually everything we think & do is generated by questions. Questions push us into new territories. The future itself could be said to begin with how we think, which in turn is reflected by the questions we ask ourselves and others. But, we must know how to ask the right questions. If questions are asked from the viewpoint of open-mindedness, of trying to learn—then the resulting answers can help to produce a mind- set that is optimistic, hopeful and full of possibilities for the future. These are known as “Learner” questions. If, however, one asks questions that seek to assign blame (either to the questioner or the questioned) and are based on negative reactions (“What’s wrong with them?”)—the resulting mind-set will then lead to failure, inflexibility, stress and a sense of severe limitations. These are known as “Judger” questions. How do we avoid being Judgers and instead become Learners? ……… (Contd)
  4. 4. Prelude- Contd.. The answer lies in author Marilee G. Adams’ “Question Thinking,” a practical, easy-to-use methodology for transforming thinking, action, and results through intentional and skilful question asking. The Question Thinking system is introduced and explored in Adams’ new book Change Your Questions, Change Your Life 7 Powerful Tools for Life and Work. In the book, Adams shows readers how to consistently choose the questions that can lead them to personal and professional success. The techniques of Question Thinking stimulate innovation, accelerate productivity, and create more rewarding relationships. Readers quickly learn that Question Thinking gets results whenever it is applied—in improving communication, team building, product development, productivity, and ultimately in breaking through blocks in our own thinking. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life outlines simple, powerful tools for letting go of the entrenched attitudes that hold so many of us back. It helps us open ourselves to fresh perspectives, new possibilities, and positive actions. We have only to ask the right questions to begin.
  5. 5. Introduction  Ability to shift intentionally our internal questions puts us in charge of our thoughts. This book explains this to us  The book is the story of Ben Knight. He finds himself challenged, seemingly beyond his limits, in his new promotion to a highly responsible management position. Convinced he doesn’t have what it takes, he drafts his resignation. That’s when his CEO steps in and gives him a second chance by introducing him to Joseph, the inquiring coach. However, Ben’s job isn’t his only problem. His marriage is in trouble. In this book Ben makes transformations both at work and at home.  The ability to think productively rather than reactively lies at the heart of Question Thinking. It is the key to building high emotional intelligence and making wise choices wherever we are. In this way QT methods also help empower successful learning organizations
  6. 6. Introduction  There are seven tools and practices that led Ben to such remarkable results. These tools are woven into the story and are described in a workbook at the end of the book with clear, step-by-step instructions.  A world of questions is a world of possibility. Questions open our minds, connect us to each other, and shake outmoded paradigms.
  7. 7. The right questions can transforms our life  Everyday, we all ask questions from ‘what should I wear?” to “what I should do with my life ?” These kind of questions we ask ourselves can profoundly affect our self –esteem, relationships, & career.  She introduces “Question Thinking” an easy to use system for transforming thinking, action, and results. With new perspectives and alternatives, we can take powerful, practical steps to transform our relationships and our work.
  8. 8. Why questions matter ?  “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein  “All innovation and new thinking—in processes, products, services and anything else—begin with a new question or an old question asked in a new way.” - Marilee Goldberg  “Asking a question is the simplest way of focusing thinking - Edward de Bono  “Since we basically walk the paths in life prescribed by our questions, it makes sense to ask those that can take us where we want to go.” - Marilee Goldberg
  9. 9.  Resolve problems  Evaluate, assess, & critique  Set & accomplish goals  Clarify & confirm listening  Negotiate & resolve conflicts  Focus attention  Create & innovate – open new possibilities  Catalyze productive & accountable conversation & action  Gather information  Build and maintain relationships  Communicate & have conversations  Learn , Teach & Reflect  Think critically, creatively, & strategically  Discover & challenge assumptions  Make decisions & choices Power & Purpose of questions
  10. 10. Questions, Behavior & Results
  11. 11. 7 Different Tools to Change Your Work & Life  Putting the power of question to work  Choice map  Learner-Judger Question  Empowering your observer  Switching Question  Questioning Assumption  Top Twelve Question for Change
  12. 12. Tool 1-Putting The Power of Question to Work  When we get stuck, it’s natural to look for answers and solutions. But in doing so we can unwittingly create blocks instead of openings.  We first need to change our questions; otherwise we keep recycling the same old, unhelpful answers.  Putting the power of questions to work is the first tool.  Questions drive results.  The most effective communication is about 20 percent telling and 80 percent asking.  Most of us have turned this around – 80 percent telling and 20 percent asking.
  13. 13. Tool 2 -The Choice Map
  14. 14. Tool 3 -Judger- Learner Questions
  15. 15. Judger –Learner Mindsets
  16. 16. Judger –Learner Relationships
  17. 17. Tool 4-Empowering Your Observer  Once you’re able to observe your own thinking, and recognize the difference between Learner and Judger, you grab hold of the power of choice.  The questions we form in our minds shape our decisions , actions & lead to any results we get.  They put us on one of two paths, the Learner or the Judger path, and there’s a huge difference between them.  Question Thinking tools like the Choice Map and the distinctions between Learner and Judger questions give you the ability to recognize what kind of questions you’re asking and where they might take you.
  18. 18. Tool 5- Switching Question  In the middle of the Choice Map there is a road joining the Judger and Learner Paths.  The Switching Lane provides a powerful tool for switching from Judger to Learner.  Whenever you sense you might be in Judger, pause, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “Am I in Judger”? If your answer is yes, you can step into the Switching Lane by asking simple questions like: ”How else can I think about this”? And “Where would I like to be”?  These are Switching questions which quickly move you to the Learner Path.  These are practical tools that take advantage of how humans work.
  19. 19. Tool 6-Questioning Assumption  You can use another tool to help make decisions – the A-B-C-C Choice Process. Questioning assumptions is tool 6.  A- Aware- Am I in Judger?  B- Breathe – Do I need to step back, pause, and look at this situation more objectively?  C – Curiosity – Do I have all the facts? What’s happening here?  C – Choose – What’s my choice?
  20. 20. Tool 7-Top Twelve Questions for Change  What do I want?  What are my choices?  What assumptions am I making?  What am I responsible for?  How else can I think about this?  What is the other person thinking, feeling, needing, and wanting?  What am I missing or avoiding?  What can I learn:  from this person or situation?  from this mistake or failure?  from this success?  What questions should I ask myself or others?  What action steps make the most sense?  How can I turn this into a win-win?  What is possible? Great Results begin with Great Questions
  21. 21. Effective question guidelines  Effective questions are open ended  Effective questions support learning  Effective questions engage a personal response  Effective questions look beyond problems to future outcomes  Effective questions facilitate openness versus defensiveness  Effective questions co-create best options versus manipulating outcomes  Ask simple questions, one at a time  Ask a question and stay silent  Powerful questions identify potential obstacles, support structures and accountability  Ask questions with curiosity, optimism and courage
  22. 22. Take-away  Marilee Adams demonstrates the power & value of asking questions.  The following concepts are the foundation for asking better questions in order to create a better future:  Question Thinking requires individuals to monitor and evaluate their thinking. Awareness of one’s thoughts allows individuals to refocus the questions they ask themselves in order to achieve the best results possible. Question Thinking is a tool that teaches one to have productive rather than reactive thoughts.  The observer self shows an individual their current situation in order to surface the skills necessary for positive change. Question Thinking can help strengthen the observer self and provide a strong foundation for change.
  23. 23. Take-away  The choice map is another tool that can be used to strengthen one’s observer self. There are two paths on the choice map: the learner path and the judger path. The choice map can be used to help individuals determine where their headspace is and make better decisions for the future.  Switching questions enables individuals to move from the judger path to the learner path.
  24. 24. The power to question is the basis of all human progress. Indira Gandhi Happy Reading Mail your comments –