Amazing Possibilities!

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

I have had the pleasure of working with some great leaders in

both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and one trait I have

noticed that they all tend to share is that they know how to

ask the right questions. Parents are always asking me, “What

can I say to my children to get them to...?” We often seem

to obsess over what we are going to say to children, when in

fact we need to shift our focus and instead listen to what they

have to say to us. They are, however, unlikely to just come

into the room and start talking. We need to develop the art of

drawing them out, and the right question will turn to conversation

every time. At other times we need to be able to use

the right questions to get young people to think about themselves

and their lives in a way that is different from the perspectives

they get from their friends or the culture.

It is fascinating to me that if a five- or six-year-old child

comes to you and asks “Can I do this?” or “Can I have

that?,” and you in turn ask them “Will it help you become

the-best-version-of-yourself?,” they know instantly.

Even if the child has never heard the phrase before, if he or

she is old enough to understand the concept, the child knows

instantly. The reason is because this dream is already within

them, and within you and me. The idea of becoming the-

best-version-of-yourself is not something I am trying to impose

upon you. I am simply trying to draw it out of you. In

the same way, you don’t need to impose it upon your children.

It’s already within them. Your role is simply to draw it

out. Questions can play a powerful role in helping children

discover the-best-version-of-themselves.

Life is as much about the questions we ask as it is about

the answers we find. In fact, the questions we ask of life are

more important than the answers we find, because if you ask

the wrong questions you always get the wrong answers. This

is one of the serious defects of the modern popular culture

that today’s young people find themselves immersed in. The

problem in our society today is that we are asking all the

wrong questions.

Matthew Kelly

From Building Better Families

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