…reveal the maturity and wisdom in your CORE.
The questions you ask are windows into your W-orldvew, your I-dentity, and your P-rinciples. Builders know they are a continuous W.I.P. One of the litmus tests of where someone is on their Builder’s Journey is the questions they ask, or don’t ask, the order, and why.
Talking with the Apprentice today was a reminder of this principle. “The Force is strong with this one” is Yoda’s way of saying he has the will, the passion, and the potential to become a Jedi builder with our BUILT TO LEAD band.
The road to clarity is sorting through all the questions to find the best questions, and the order in which to ask them.
Self-centered, Others-controlling leaders tend to ask what Marilee Adams calls “judging questions.” Judging questions are reactive, feelings-driven, closed-end, fear-based, and win-lose. They reveal an inner core weakness and tend to catastrophize in a permanent, pervasive and personal way when negative things happen. This is the low road to the “Judger pit” where inevitably someone ends up slimed. The Judger pit is the domain of learned helplessness and the do-or-die survivor.
Core-centered, Self-controlling leaders tend to ask what she calls “learner questions.” Learner questions are proactive, core-driven, open-ended, hope-based, and win-win. They reveal an explanatory style and core strength trained to see negativity as temporary, confined, and not personal. This is the high road with many possibilities, a way forward, redemption of the negative into a positive, and greater oneness. The Learner path is the road less travelled of the thriver – and it’s the on-ramp to the HIGHway.
The title of her book, “Change Your Questions Change Your Life” is true. BUILT TO LEAD leaders are thrivers, and are always building their wisdom in asking better and better questions.
On the Learner path today — aka the Builder’s Journey — the Apprentice sensed he was not asking the best questions. Not asking the best questions inhibits your ability to see things in a new way, and can take you down the wrong path to conclusions where you begin to get frustrated, lose vision, and ultimately lose hope.
Builders are mental guides for others on their Builder’s Journeys. Builders help others think differently by helping others see differently through better questions. This is why continual work on your CORE is so important. Shallow W-orldviews lead to shallow thinking. Fragile I-dentities lead to fragile thinking. Fuzzy P-rinciples lead to fuzzy thinking.
Deeper, stronger, clearer is what you want in your core. Today the Apprentice changed his questions which changed his thinking which will make his Productive Actions more productive. And he gained energy which gave me energy. Toto is ending most practices challenging his teams to ask their leaders two tough questions before closing to become more ONE in their questions, thinking, productive actions and energy. So let’s end with my two for you today:
Which road do you find yourself on most of the time – Judger or Learner? Why?
If you wonder “am I lying to yourself?”, who is the builder in your life who will challenge you with better questions to see things differently, think differently, and act differently?
High performance leaders and cultures are no accident. They ask better, tougher questions.
Together We Improve.