When you are sick, you go to the doctor or clinic to find out what is going on inside your body. The doctor typically asks you about your health history, takes your vital signs, and asks you what your symptoms are. This provides a “picture” of your overall health, and with those answers, the doctor can then give you a diagnosis or what your next steps will be. This is a process to get you back to “good health.”
Since November 2019, when COVID was first recognized globally, then in March 2020, we all experienced a global shelter in place mandate. There was a little bit of a breather in the summer of 2021, and now, in the fall of 2021, we have another red flag warning of new variants and winter coming on, moving us back into isolation once again. This pandemic hangs over our heads and creates poor mental health and physical health, and psychological health. Hear this: “No One Is Immune” to the unknown future that awaits any of us. We are all in this together. Not one of us knows the future.
We are essentially experiencing the pain of ineffectiveness and decline in all areas of our lives. There is much divisiveness in our lives today, which keeps us stuck where we are and not moving forward. People reject basically everything they hear, see, and read, not because it is untrue, but because they do not know what to believe, and contradictions are running rampant. Our questions must be modified to reflect this uncertainty accurately. Ask these when you are about to pull your hair out:
- What? – What is this person saying, and what backs up what they say as fact vs. slant, editorializing, and political opinion talking points.
- So What? – How does this affect me?
- Now What – What am I going to do with what I just heard, read, or saw?
You are a “Leader” whether you think of yourself as one or not, you are! You lead yourself; you lead your family; you lead where you work; you lead in your community; you lead in your daily life through living; you lead in your place of worship, and so on. As a leader, you may not realize this but, you do develop and ask questions. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions! [AKA a great book by John Maxwell].
The Value of a Great Question
- You only get the answers to the questions you ask.
- Questions unlock and open doors that otherwise remain closed.
- Questions are the most effective means of connecting with people.
- Questions cultivate humility.
- Questions help a person engage others in conversation.
- Questions allow us to be better ideas.
- Questions give us a different perspective.
- Questions change mindsets and get you out of a rut.
In his book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions; John has eight statements that shed light on “the value of a great question.
Now you have just taken the first step to moving forward by understanding the value of being asked a great question.
Take an honest assessment; and ask: “How am I doing as a father, husband, volunteer …?” “How am I doing at my place of employment?”
Sometimes outside assessment is needed. Someone who isn’t tangled up in the mess can help by simply sitting down, in a quiet place, free from distraction and calmly asking assessing questions and giving you the time to reflect on those questions, think about those questions, and then speak your truth about what is going on in your life and work. What you will find is that sharing your story with someone can really be freeing and open that “white-space” inside your head so you can access and plan your way out.
Think about each of the questions below.
- What’s your viewpoint?
- What’s your family’s viewpoint?
- What’s your spouse’s viewpoint?
- What’s your immediate boss’ viewpoint?
- What’s your team’s viewpoint?
- What strengthens you today, in this moment?
- What drains you today?
- What opportunities are right in front of you?
- What do you believe will move you up and out and forward?
- What seems painful at this moment?
- What energizes you?
- What stops you from acting?
Best intentions do not move you forward; they keep you stuck and going round and round in a circle.
The two biggest reasons a person does not seek outside help are:
“I just don’t have a minute to spare.”
And “I have no idea where to look or start.”
Both are valid reasons, and both will keep you stuck and going around and around in that vortex of self-doubt.
Effective leaders in their personal life and their professional life invest in themselves. This can be accomplished in many ways; perhaps you can think of more; here are a few for your consideration:
Talk to a trusted friend confidentially.
Seek out a professionally trained coach or mentor.
If you are a person of faith, visit your pastor, rabbi, or church counselor or leader.
You know, much of what a person can glean comes from catching leadership from observation and conversation vs. classroom style.
Do we no longer appreciate the importance of what we are doing—or why it matters that we show up every day prepared to face the challenges and opportunities in the day? Do you not realize you are involved in something which is greater than yourself?
Coach Krzyzewski was the USA Olympic Basketball Coach and he said this: “You can try to tell people why what they do matters. You can try to show them. But people get what it means when they can feel it,” “Our job is to make sure that our teams always feel what it is – and who it is – that we’re playing for.” These two quotes are from The John Maxwell Blog.
Who are you playing for in your life? You represent more than just yourself; you are representing our nation, culture, honor, tradition, values, and much more. If you are just showing up and going through the motions and receiving your monthly handout, you are not living.
Now it is your move. I have made mine.
What is your next move?