I recently listened to an episode of the No Quit Living podcast where the host Chris Wirth interviewed Kevin Eastman. Kevin is a former college and NBA coach and the author of the book Why the Best are the Best. I bought the book right after the interview, but have not had the chance to read it yet.
One of the questions Chris asked Kevin was, “In one word how would you describe yourself?” Kevin’s word was Curious. Great word. I started to think about how I would answer that question. I liked the word curious, but that seemed too easy.
As I reflected on it the word I came up with is Questioning.
Why questioning? Over the years I have found myself understanding and embracing the power of questions in training, coaching, leading and life. I continually find myself asking questions of myself and others.
- What’s Important Now?
- What’s the right thing to do?
- What are my values?
- Am I living my values?
- What should I be reading next?
- What have you read that I should read?
- What podcasts should I be listening to?
- What do I need to learn, or learn more about?
- How does what I am learning now connect with what I already know and how does it apply to what I am teaching?
- What action steps do I need to take to implement what I am learning?
- What morning rituals will allow me to be most productive with my creative work and also allow me to incorporate meditation, reading and exercise into the first few hours of my day?
- Why do I believe what I do about this subject? What alternative perspectives have I failed to consider?
- What does the research say?
- Is there a better way to teach my courses, seminars and workshops to enhance the learning and retention of the material for the participants?
- What are the life lessons from this quote or statement I am reading?
- What stories would better communicate the message I want to share?
- How can I do a better job of telling those storing?
- Is there a better sequence or flow to the material I am teaching?
- What limiting thoughts and beliefs about myself are holding me back?
- Who do I need to reach out to to interview for the Excellence in Training Academy? Who would bring new insights and wisdom to the members of the EIT Academy community?
- Have you ever dealt with this challenge and if so what strategies can you share with me that were successful in allowing you to work through it? What did you try that did not work?
- What possible solutions do you feel might be effective in addressing this problem?
- What question do you wish I would have asked you?
- What information did you consider when making this decision?
- What other alternatives did you consider?
- What do you need from me?
- How can I be of service to you?
- What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?
For me questioning is the path to learning, growth and action. Sometimes I am too quick to jump to answers and fail to ask enough questions. Sometimes I need to ask better questions. Sometimes I need to listen better to the answers. Sometimes I need to do a better job of taking action when it is appropriate. In each of those times the key is to ask myself hard questions to ensure I correct the behaviour and learn from the experience.
What about you? How would you answer the question? What is your word? What does that word mean to you? How would you explain it to someone else?
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