The power of questions
As a mentor sometimes you offer suggestions, and local/current reps also might issue instructions to your mentee. But the most powerful process in mentoring is non-directive: it is based on asking excellent questions – especially when there is a Gordian Knot of a predicament that cannot be untied, and so must be cut instead.
Here are some ways to explore issues from new and productive angles:
|Perspective: from …||Example of questions|
|Afar||Is this the right issue to be addressing?|
|Above (Super-Ego)||How would you explain this to a person strongly affected by your decision?|
|Left (logic)||What does your head tell you?|
|Right (emotion)||What does your heart tell you?|
|Behind (the past)||Which route is most consistent with your life/values/success formula so far?|
|In front (the future)||How does this fit with your picture of where you want your community to be?|
|Below (fears)||Are you operating out of fear; is this good?|
|(Imagined) retrospect||Imagine you have already chosen the course of action – now tell me why you chose it?|
|Someone else’s point of view||How would he/she/your community etc react? [or want you to react?]|
Other powerful questions examples
- What do you want?
- What’s holding you back?
- What is it costing you to continue holding back?
- How do you want to change your mind’s programming on that topic?
- What new habits will you put in place to fortify your new mindset?
- What is the most meaningful action you could take now?
- What new skills or support from the community will ensure your success?
Anatomy of a Powerful Question
All powerful questions:
- Come from a place of genuine curiosity.
- Are direct, simple and usually open-ended.
- Generate creative thinking and surface underlying information.
- Encourage self reflection.
Credit: material is adapted from here.