Are the Questions You Ask Leading to Wrecks or Results?

 Why Your Internal Dialogue Matters

Asking great internal questions requires a degree of reflective thinking and conscious effort. I like a good tip now and then and appreciate positivity in my personal and professional life.

Therefore, in the spirit of sharing, I’m passing on something that works well for me.

At any given moment in time, you’re probably going to ask yourself a question. When you do, your internal dialogue will prompt you to take a path toward learning or judgment. It’s almost like coming to a fork in the road and consciously or unconsciously knowing that the direction you choose will affect your mood, mindset and the chain of events to follow. The eventualities are either positive outcomes that help you learn or something that inhibits your mind and possibly the relationship.

In general, thinking of questions along the learning path will lead to a mood of optimism, trust, and possibilities. What’s really great is that these kinds of questions guide your mindset to be flexible, appreciative and often focus on win-win outcomes when relating to others. And, it just feels better.

On the other hand, heading down the judgment path of thinking and questioning generally leads to a mood of pessimism, stress and limitations. These kinds of questions push your mindset into a reactive and inflexible mode that is often judgmental, blaming and focused on win-lose relating.

Following are questions that exhibit judgmental thinking versus learning thinking. Heightening your awareness of the differences may help you make the mental switch in your questioning, so that you can solicit and strive to understand perspectives other than your own.

Judgmental thinking:

  • Whose fault is it?
  • What’s wrong with me or them?
  • Why can’t I ever win?
  • Why bother?

Learning thinking:

  • What else can I do?
  • What happened?
  • What do I want and why?
  • What are the facts?
  • What assumptions am I making and why?
  • What am I, or this team, responsible for?
  • What are they thinking and wanting and why?

May your thinking, internal dialogue and questions lead you toward a learning path paved with great results.

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

Tina Korecky Bowness is an organizational change management consultant with Centric. Read her articles on LinkedIn or contact Tina to learn more.