4 Magic Questions That Will Resolve All Problems

We live in two worlds. The world inside our head where we imagine how things are going to be before things happen and the outside world, where we actually do the things we are thinking about doing (sometimes not). The way you know what is going on in someone’ inside world is by listening carefully to the language they are using and asking powerful questions that will produce the answers that will tell you what they are thinking.

Some people are naturally good at having open and honest communication with others and this is definitely an essential leadership skill that we all need to learn.

Questions to Address the Problems

Good decisions can only be made when you have good information. Great leaders listen and connect with everyone in their company, including their customers. They find out what potential problems could possibly arise before they happen. They ask great questions when talking to people, to find out what problems could possibly be encountered and how they would go about resolving this. The job of asking powerful questions is to help others talk about what problems there are and how these problems can be resolved. By asking the right questions they were able to pre-empt possible problems and take action to ensure these potential problems do not arise.  The following tips are useful for managers and team leaders to help their staff in identifying the real problems or issues.

Values + Beliefs = Attitude

ImageXchange One to One Personal Image ConsultationBeing asked to do something that goes against what you think is right, honest or fair are about values. Next, being asked to do something that you think you can’t do (others may disagree) are about (limiting) beliefs. Lastly, being asked to do something you don’t know how to do has to do with strategy and being asked to do something when you don’t have the tools is about the environment.

First 2 magic questions :

When someone says “I can’t do this.” Ask him, “ What specifically can’t you do?” If their answer is, “I can’t do this report.” You then ask, “What is stopping you?” By finding out specifically what the problem is and by then asking, “What is stopping you?” you are encouraging that person to tell you where their problem is.

The magic of these type of questions is that someone has to think before they answer. It is almost impossible to give a flippant reply. “What specifically” gets to exactly the specific thing someone is referring to. “What is stopping you” gets to the reasons why they are unable to resolve problem.


ImageXchange ICF Coaching Training & Certification Programme by Sebastien Leblond

Join us for our upcoming

ICF Approved Coach-The Coach-Certification Course

by Sebastien Leblond


Is the problem in the inside world or the outside world?

If the problem is a ‘value’ or ‘belief’ problem, then this is an ‘inside world’ problem. The solution can only come from how that person chooses to change the way he thinks about the situation.

If it’s a strategy or environment problem – then it is an ‘outside world’ problem. The solution will come from either providing instruction or training on how to do something or providing the right environment, tools or equipment to get the job done.

Values Problem

“When this report gets published it will affect a lot of families. I have to outline the proposed redundancies and this is something we promised we would not do.” This is going against the values of the person who has to write this report, as they are being asked to do something that they promised they would not do.

Belief Problem

A ‘belief’ answer may be “I have been recently promoted and, although I have been writing reports for years, my reports have to go to the board of directors and I am not sure if I am confident enough to do this.” This is a ‘belief problem’ because, although the person knows how to write reports, they are telling you that they are not sure if are they confidence enough to submit their report to a board of directors.


ImageXchange Corporate Staff Training - Business Image, Dress Sense, Etiquette, Communication, Networking skills, Soft skills


Strategy Problem

“I have a new computer and I don’t know how to get into the report template that I am used to using.” This is strategy problem because, that person is used to writing reports on a specific template however they don’t know how to access that report template on their new computer.

Environment Problem

An ‘environment’ answer may be “This office is so noisy. Every time I try to start, I get distracted and can’t concentrate on getting my report finished.” This is environment problem because, the problem is the noise in the office is distracting the concentration of that person.

As you can see, from the previous examples from a very simple statement “I can’t do this” just asking two simple questions ”‘what specifically can’t you do?” and “what is stopping you?” quickly drills down to where a problem lives. When you use this structure with everyone in your company you can quickly establish where certain types of problems keep recurring.

You may have to address what you are asking people to do and discuss how this fits with their values. People may just need reassurance that they can do something. You may highlight a need for training in a specific area. You may have reached a stage in your growth where it is time to invest in more equipment.

Last 2 Magic Questions

The third magic question to ask is “What needs to happen for you to do your report?” This instantly takes the person into a solution mindset, as they start to think about the things that need to happen to get the report finished.

The fourth magic question is “If you could do your report, how would you do it?” This encourages the person to imagine doing the report and, in doing so provides them with possible solutions.

Problems solve, how great is that!


ImageXchange NLP Training Programme Sebastien Leblond

Join us for our upcoming

ICF Approved Coach-The Coach-Certification Course

by Sebastien Leblond


LET’S BE SOCIABLE!  Do you enjoy this article?  Don’t forget to share this with your friends via the social media icons on the right.



DO YOU WANT MORE?  If you have any questions about how to improve your personal or professional image?  Simply subscribe to our newsletter below and enjoy the following:

  • Get free email consultation on any one issue regarding personal or professional image that matters to you
  • Be updated on new and useful tips or articles that we post
  • Celebrate your birthday month with a FREE 1-to-1 consultation (1-hour session)
  • Get invited to our public events and workshops
  • Free downloads on “Look your Best: Top Tips to Personal Image & Style” and more…

This form collects your name and email so that we can add you to our newsletter list for useful articles and updates. You can unsubscribe at any time via email to us. Check our our Privacy Policy on Contact Us menu for further details on how we protect and manage your data.


Article by guest writer:  Suzenne Zheng of First Impressions Singapore

Do you enjoy this article? Please help share this to your friends :)

Facebook
Facebook
Pinterest
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram