The Questions We Ask Ourselves … Do They Drive Action?

In his recent blog post, 6 Questions That Will Set You Up to Be Super SuccessfulMarshall Goldsmith writes: “When it comes to self-reflection, asking yourself active questions rather than passive questions changes the focus of your answers – and empowers you to make changes you wouldn’t otherwise consider!” Passive questions are those which “can cause people to think of what is being done to them rather than what they are doing for themselves.” His example is: “Do you have clear goals?” Passive questions open the door to understanding the “static position” – the current situation and if it exists and why.  These are helpful in information gathering for continuous improvement. Active questions, on the other hand, call for a response to “describe or defend a course of action.”  “There is a huge difference” Goldsmith writes, “between ‘Do you have clear goals?’ and ‘Did you do your best to set clear goals for yourself?’”

Goldsmith offers great leaders six active, behavior-altering questions, The Six Questions that Will Set You Up to Be Super Successful!:

Did I do my best to increase my happiness?
Did I do my best to find meaning?
Did I do my best to be engaged?
Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
Did I do my best to set clear goals?
Did I do my best to make progress toward goal achievement?

It is in these small steps of quiet self-reflection that great leaders become extraordinary leaders – a simple change in questions that changes behavior to be and become more than they ever dreamed they could be. John Holt writes: “Ask questions to find out something about the world itself, not to find out whether or not someone knows it.” There is so much beauty and wonder yet to be found … in ourselves, the world and in those whom we serve.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

This entry was posted in Adventure, Perspective and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Questions We Ask Ourselves … Do They Drive Action?

  1. Jack Beach says:

    Interesting. I never thought of the difference between “passive” inquiry and “active.” You and Goldsmith make a good point. However, I do think a status check is also important. One may need to ask, “Do I have clear goals?” before one can ask, “Did I do my best to make progress toward goal achievement?” It is hard to make progress if you don’t know where you are headed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *