As human beings we possess an almost magical talent – the ability to envision ourselves in situations and experiences with as much realism and emotion as if they were actually happening now. We can surround ourselves instantly with our closest friends and relatives even if they are thousands of miles away. We can vividly remember moments that have touched our hearts or look forward to events that have not yet occurred with amazing detail. We can feel love, joy, fear, anger, and exaltation simply by tapping into the unlimited resource called our imagination.
In psychology, the term used to describe this special ability is full association or engagement. When we are fully associated and engaged, every ounce of our body, mind, and spirit is completely involved. We accept total ownership of our experience. The master skill of enabling questioning is the key to helping ourselves and others enter the enriching world of full association and engagement. As leaders develop the skill of asking enabling questions, they accomplish in a moment what they may fail to achieve in hours or even years of commands or dictates: catalyzing others to discover their own reasons to become inspired and committed.
Mastering the skill of enabling questioning also demands that you become fully engaged with those around you. The best way to help others become fully associated is to be equally associated to their responses. When you ask an enabling question, its real value is less a product of what you ask than how you ask it. If you ask questions using the correct words, but lacking the empathy and presence that ignite full association, you have missed the essence of this special skill.
Masters of enabling questions are intensely curious and genuinely interested in each individual with whom they come in contact. They do not ask questions looking for answers they want to hear. They ask enabling questions to learn. When you ask enabling questions there are no right or wrong answers – only real answers. In the next few Breakthrough Articles, you will be introduced to several categories and examples of enabling questions that will open the door to greater fulfillment in three key areas of your life:
- enabling questions for children
- enabling question sets to use as a leader
- enabling questions that assist with replacing stifling or paralyzing beliefs with new activating ones.
Use these Breakthrough articles as a springboard to generating an ever-expanding array of enabling questions to enrich your relationships, ignite your energy and alertness, and bring-out the genius in everyone you touch.