‘The quality of the question determines the quality of the outcome …. always’ Richard Maybury
‘A wellspring of good ideas lies just beneath a limiting assumption. An Incisive Question will remove it, freeing the mind to think afresh.’ Nancy Kline, author of ‘Time To Think’
Sometimes, our fundamental assumptions or beliefs about ourselves or a situation hold us back from achieving what we want. This can be a contributing reason for why many ‘goals’ or, more correctly, wishes and unstructured ambitions are not realised. So, with thanks to Nancy Kline, and Mike Neil at Success made Fun whose newsletters I always read, lets look at The Incisive Question.
Rather than challenge an assumption or belief head on, the incisive question makes it temporarily irrelevant, and allows you to step beyond your old way of thinking about things and into a whole new world of possibilities.
The incisive question is based on the idea that it is our limiting assumptions about situations, other people, ourselves, and our lives that keep us stuck.
When we move beyond our limiting assumptions, we often receive a rush of inspired ideas and proactive actions.
The method in a nutshell:
1. Think about something that you want but are having difficulty getting.
2. What might you be assuming that’s holding you back from getting it?
3. Choose the assumption that feels the most ‘bedrock’ – the one that you sense is at the heart of the problem. What for you would be the ‘positive opposite’ of that assumption? For example, a limiting assumption about going for a promotion could be ‘I’m too young’. A Possible Positive Opposite could be ‘It’s not about age, it’s about experience’
4. Frame an incisive question using one of the following forms…
‘If I absolutely knew for a fact that (positive opposite of your limiting assumption), what ideas would I have about (your goal, situation, or challenge)?’
‘If I absolutely knew for a fact that (positive opposite your of limiting assumption), what would I do to create or bring about (your goal, situation, or challenge)?’
Be aware that the ‘right’ question is the one that feels right to you – some people describe it as ‘having the lid peeled off your mind’! Play around with different positive opposites until you find the one that fits best and frees your creativity and inspiration.
How about asking yourself this question:
If you knew for a fact that the only thing between you and the life of your dreams was a question, what question would you ask to begin living the life of your dreams?
Our training programmes are a good foundation for this type of thinking and day to day execution. Contact us for more information.
Check out Nancy’s book, Time To Think