I’ve joked for probably twenty years now that I collect good questions. Some collect stamps, some collect spoons, some collect books (actually I do that too – somewhere around university I switched from collecting music albums to good books). But I now collect good questions.
With the growth of coaching the art of asking good questions has become more and more sought after. So here are a few of my favourites at the moment:
If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do with your life?
If you’re saying yes to this, what does that mean saying no to?
What does success mean for you at the moment?
How do you picture your relationship with God?
On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to do this?
What is God saying to you at the moment?
But here’s another thing I’ve started to realise about the importance of good questions recently.
It’s been said that the quality of your life is dependent on the quality of your relationships. This makes total sense; relationships are ultimately what life is all about, and are what brings it so much meaning. Key relationships are with our spouse, our families, our friends, our work colleagues, and of course with God.
It’s also been said that the quality of your relationships depends on the quality of your conversations. If you’re not able to have good health, open, honest conversations with someone, then the relationship is clearly not a good one. And the best way to improve it would be start having some of those open and honest conversations.
And then it’s been said that the quality of your conversations depends on the quality of your questions. The best conversations come about when people truly listen to one another and feel able to share deeply what they are thinking or feeling. That invariably only happens when people ask each other meaningful, deep questions, and then actually listen to the answers.
Good questions lead to good conversations, good conversations lead to good relationships, good relationships lead to a better quality of life. So how are you doing in asking good questions at the moment?
Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.