A Starter Collection of Questions

Kevin Eikenberry

By: Kevin Eikenberry - Chief Potential Officer, The Kevin Eikenberry Group

Category: Leadership

If you haven't started your own collection of questions, now is the time to start. Most people collect things that are meaningful or valuable or pleasing to the collector (baseball cards, cookbooks, art, anything). Questions are no different. Here's a list to get you started.

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People collect everything from McDonalds Happy Meal toys to antique guns to books to cars. Of all the things youíve heard of people collecting, perhaps questions isnít on that list.

Collecting questions might seem unusual, but consider this: people typically collect things for at least on of three reasons:

What they are collecting is meaningful.
What they are collecting is valuable.
Great use or pleasure is derived from the pursuit of collecting, or the use of what is collected.
And collecting questions fits into each of these categories.

While the questions themselves may not have the inherent value of a classic car or rare coin, the benefits that can be gained from having them in your collection can be amazing. Questions can aid you in any aspect of your life and having the ability to use the right questions skillfully at the right time can increase your influence, satisfy your curiosity, help you solve problems and make your life easier.

It is for all of these reasons and more that I collect questions, and I suggest that you do the same.

What follows is a starter set of questions for you to help you get your collection going. These multi-use questions will serve you well in any number of situations.

The Starter List

How can I help?
What has to be done?
Can you explain the process?
How do you feel about it?
Can you explain that further?
What is your perspective on this?
What are some of the reasons this didnít work as well as you had hoped?
What change can we make for the better?
What would you definitely do again?
What would perfect look like?
What key results are we looking for?
How do you mean?
Can you say more about that?
What did you have in mind?
How do you feel about this?
What do you think?
Can you tell me more about why you want to do it this way?
How did you come to your decision?
What factors played into your decision?
Can you elaborate on that?
Can you give me some examples?

Adding to Your Collection

These 21 multi-purpose questions will give your collection a great start! Of course, not all of these questions would be used in any one situation, which is exactly why you need a collection. This is truly just a start.

Build on your collection by consciously noticing great questions. Once you are looking for them you will find them:

In your own conversations
In what you read
When listening to good radio or television interviewers
In your memory
Expand your collection further by asking people you respect to share the questions that work best for them.

Stamp collectors donít just toss their stamps into a drawer or box Ė they store those valuable and interesting stamps in a safe and accessible place. You should consider doing the same for your questions!

Consider having a question file on your computer, in your planner, in a special place in your journal, or in a completely separate question collection journal. Once you decide to be a collector you will find a storage and collection plan that works best for you.

There is no better time than now to start building your collection file. The good news is that this article gives you a good start! You may modify some of these or not include some at all. Like any other collection it needs to be personal to be most meaningful and helpful to you.

I wish you great success in collecting the questions that will serve you best in reaching your personal and professional goals.

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