In order for our questions to be good ones, ones that guide us towards the success we seek, we need to learn to “think consciously.” Notice how we spend a good share of our day on “auto pilot,” just allowing all these 60,000 to 90,000 thoughts to arrive, distract us, or even send us into a “thought loop.” This generally results in us thinking the same thoughts we thought yesterday, by default, resulting in the same results we experienced before. To create success, by definition meaning a different result from today’s experience, first we must think and believe differently. This results in different actions, resulting then in something new. And if we do this effectively, we label this new result a success. How do we guide this process, instead of bumbling along by default?…
Questions–Good Quality Questions!
We have all been well-trained to answer questions others ask of us, often to our own detriment. But, just how often do we ask good questions of ourselves?
Remember, questions are the way we influence the tremendous number of thoughts we hold in mind every day. These questions allow us to choose the subject of our thought as well as exactly HOW we think about those subjects. And our thoughts and beliefs are how we attract or manifest our life experiences.
Questions are also the key to remain lucid, conscious and deliberate while “thinking consciously,” rather than repeating all those same old thoughts we had yesterday, by default.
The trick to do this process well is two-fold. First, your questions work best when they are good questions, meant to guide you along a path of exploration or solution. Secondly, you must take the time and effort to answer those questions. Don’t just stop after that first answer. Answer it over and over until you see all the possibilities.
If you are at a loss as to just what questions to ask, start with, “What do I want HERE?” It is also useful to use the old standby’s of “Who, What, Where, When, Why, How and What if?” Be very careful with Why questions, though, as we’ve been well-trained to use that one to set blame or to knock us down. If you ask, “Why can’t I do that?” or “Who do I think I am to think I could do THAT?” Your mind handily comes up with the 16 reasons WHY little old you can’t do that. Remember, the mind is like a computer in search mode, it answers the question asked of it. If you where to ask “Why do I think I can do that?” The mind just as easily dredges up 16 reasons why you, personally, can indeed do THAT! It is best to use that Why question to pick apart or solve the problem or guide things in a positive way, instead of using it to derail the process.
Say you start with, “What do I want here?” And your answer is, “I want to increase my sales by 10% each month over the next year. Note that it is always good to set a quantifiable, measurable goal or desire–so you know when you have indeed achieved it. Your best, next action would be to make a list of really good questions and then fully explore and answer them truthfully. Don’t answer with what you think the answer “should be,” answer with the real inner truth about the issue. After all you can’t fix it if you deny it’s broken. And if it is broken, you won’t get very far with that thinking. So, using this same example, consider these:
WHY do I want to increase my sales? What would my life be like when I DO THAT? — these two can reset your motivation and, even more preferable, inspire you to move enthusiastically on the actions your questions/answers suggest.
Of the prospects I currently have, WHO can I contact that likely can result in the biggest orders?
WHAT will they need the most right now? And WHAT do we have that really serves that need?
WHEN is the best time to contact that purchase agent?
WHAT can I offer as value added?
WHAT if they don’t know how to market this to their customers, HOW can I/we help with that?
But more important than the logistics questions, that you already think about as a good sales person, are the questions you ask and then answer yourself about YOU, as examples:
What is the hardest part of this process for me?
What is my plan to handle that “hard” part?
Do I handle being told NO in an effective manner? Do I let that derail my enthusiasm? Does this throw a wrench in the works and lengthen the time it takes me to make that next call? What are five ways I can easily divert myself back to my plan? How can I remind myself to do that if/when a “NO” happens?
What happens if I do make my goal? How will I celebrate that? Yes, celebration is important!
If I make my goal, will I suddenly have greater expectations of myself? Will others expect me to maintain or expand on that? Does that feel like too much responsibility, a burden, scary, or stressful? How, exactly, will that make me feel? Does that scare me? What can I do about that? Can I have success without tying other expectations to that achievement? Again, What do I want here?
These are just a small taste of possible “good” questions that can help us make plans that include solutions for self-sabotage.
How many questions should one ask? Well, when brainstorming, trainers suggest that things don’t even get serious until 20 or more ideas are on the table–that’s only a starting place. To train yourself for success, I recommend you keep asking good questions, until you feel really, really, really and I mean really good about the answers you are discovering. And yes, they came out of YOU! Celebrate that!
Good Questions lead us along better paths. Conscious use of good questions allow us to attract success and better life experiences including more of what we want and less of what we don’t want. I recommend you make questions your very best friend.
Play with this and let me know how you do with this idea. I’d love to hear from you!