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Feel Stuck? Changing Your Outlook on Life Comes Down to

Asking 3 powerful questions. Can questions really help people feel less stuck? These probably will.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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BY MARCEL SCHWANTES, INC. CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AND FOUNDER, LEADERSHIP FROM THE CORE@MARCELSCHWANTES

More people are feeling stuck in their work and life. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, 85 percent of people are disengaged. They may be facing broken cultures, toxic bosses, troubled relationships, or the real prospect of a job loss. How can we break free from feeling this way? How can we inspire ourselves and others to see things differently?

What if there were simple but powerful questions to change our situation? Lift our trajectory? Open ourselves up? Shift our world?

In an interview with Chris Deaver and Ian Clawson, co-founders of BraveCore (a consultancy that helps others build cultures people love), they shared that it all comes down to asking better questions. "Questions carry the power to raise our thinking to higher places. More than answers. More than expertise," Deaver shared.

But can questions really help people feel less stuck? "We've seen how questions create a brave space for others to be more open creatively, express ideas, and feel more connected to each other," Clawson added.

Three questions to ask

In their upcoming book Brave Together: Lead by Design, Spark Creativity, and Shape the Future With the Power of Co-Creation, these authors share a set of questions they have pressure tested to help leaders combat the pressure to "have all the answers."

Clawson explains that people can power a better future by first asking themselves these questions and then asking others these same golden questions to improve relationships and empower others.

Here are the "three golden questions" leaders must ask:

1. At the back of your head and heart, what is something still unfulfilled in your life?

This question is tied to learning. Answers that come to the surface will reveal certain truths. Pain from your past or pain in your present. Possibly both. The goal here is to acknowledge this reality. Get clear about this answer. Look past excuses you've used before and lies you may have told yourself. Get to the heart of it all.

Now, ask this golden question to someone with a sincere desire to see them as they truly are. Know that this is a heavy question. It can take time and space for someone to respond, but it can be such a powerful experience when asked. Be patient and kind in the process.

2. What are you most excited about right now?

This golden question is about things you love. It will either elicit energy you have bottled up or it will fall flat. This will help you see if you're living in fear or striving to be brave. It's the difference between a worklife that is static or one that is dynamic. As you clarify what you are passionate about, what will you do with this insight?

As you ask others this question, take note of how they light up (or not). See if their passion comes out. Their answer doesn't have to reflect a current project, role, or company, although it may. It could be a side hobby, or a personal pursuit. How can you help others after identifying their passion? 

3. What inspires you to be your best?

This question has to do with how you are living your life. What inspires you to improve? Is it your family or tied to a vision of your future? You may be moved by a good book or a podcast. This question puts your values front and center. Can you identify your core principles? Do you need to rethink your values?

By asking others this question, you can learn what inspires them. It can give you a glimpse of a greater sense of purpose. They may feel stuck, and you can see the struggle in their eyes. No matter how they answer, it can give a sense of their value system.

Deaver emphasized that the golden questions may not solve everything but can become foundational questions for our lives. "It's powerful to ask ourselves, what can we learn, what do we love, and how do we want to live," he said.

Clawson believes the best use of these questions is in conversation. "They can strengthen your relationships while empowering others. But they are just a guide," he says. "These are powerful questions you can return to time and time again." 

So, what questions will help you become a better leader? How can you harness the power of questions? 

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