Written by: Jennifer Espinosa-Goswami
Thomas Kuhn famously said “the answers you get depend on the questions you ask.”
When was the last time you asked yourself a question about your business? Maybe you rely upon a mentor or colleague to do this, which may be expensive or inconsistent.
Before we dive into powerful questions to ask yourself, let’s examine why questions are powerful.
Think back to a time when someone asked you something that completely changed your perspective of a situation, or a time when someone prompted you to question what you thought to be true.
It was most likely a milestone moment in your life.
As a coach, I ask powerful questions every time I connect on a call with a client. That is not just part of my training- it is also part of my vocation.
As a graduate of a Leadership program, much of my coursework involved eliciting feedback from peers and colleagues in order to create innovative solutions.
As a Questioner on the Four Tendencies quiz, a lifelong Learner from the StrengthsFinder, and a coach who believes in the power of the right questions, it’s hard for me not to ask questions.
Most of the research on questions addresses leaders of teams. But, it also provides a powerful framework for solopreneurs. When we fail to ask questions, we assume we know everything there is to know- a dangerous trap for any entrepreneur.
Here are some of the benefits of asking yourself questions:
- Leads to self-discovery
- Encourages changes
- Forms good habits
- Fuels your brain
Let’s talk about two types of questions that will improve your business.
- Open questions
Mastering the skill of asking open ended questions is tough. I even struggle with it sometimes! Yet, it is critical to unleashing powerful truths.
Some examples of open questions could be “how will I move my business forward?”, “what can I do right now to connect with clients?”, “how would my week improve if I organized my desk before I end my work day”?
These answers require awareness and reflection, and give you the opportunity to brainstorm solutions. As a side note, it can be tempting to ask generic open-ended questions. A coach can help you narrow your focus on specific action steps that lead to transformation.
- Process questions
Process questions require you to put your own opinion into the answer, and identify the knowledge you may already have on the subject.
For example, you may have heard that using video is the way to beat Facebook algorithms, but you may have personally struggled with getting in front of a camera. You may know the best way to set up your background, but struggle with presence. Now, you have clarity on how to proceed!
Some of my favorite process questions include: “If you could start all over again, what would you do differently”, “what changes are needed to move forward”, “when have you been successful in a similar situation in the past” and “how will you hold yourself accountable“?
Questions have the power to change your business, especially if you focus on powerful open-ended and process questions.
Join the SSB webinar on February 9 for Your Personal Marathon, where we dive into not just powerful questions, but also the right milestones for your business.
About the author:
Jenn Espinosa-Goswami is a human potential expert and holistic coach at Weightless LLC. A long-time member of the 100 pound club, she is also a marathon runner who has been featured on Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Prevention, Spry Living and many national media. When not presenting powerful health seminars in her hometown of Minneapolis (or online), you can connect with her at www.weightlesschronicles.com. She is mom to two beautiful daughters, and will do anything for a tasty taco.