Chris Mattis shares that the quality of the questions determine the quality of the answers in this article. Orrin Woodward has learned to use the Socratic method in mentoring to draw out the root problems holding back peak performance. What is holding you back from peak performance? Let's hear from on of the top leaders in the LIFE Business (Chris Mattis) for the answer.
Best selling authors Chris Brady and Tim Marks came up with a term to describe one of Leadership Guru Orrin Woodward’s many gifts, “Question Funneling.” Mr. Woodward uses this technique to help others discover what is driving an issue or a specific result in their life. The adeptness with which Orrin uses question funneling allows for self discovery, for egos to remain unruffled, and the heart of the matter to quickly and clearly be exposed.
In my personal use of question funneling I search for answers to three parts in a specific order.
1st – What is the the principal that is at stake or being violated?
2nd – How do I connect it to their heart?
3rd – What are the questions that will lead to the biggest results for that person? The most “Ah Ha’s.”
Discovering what Principal we are dealing with: Many of us convolute, cloud, attack, vilify, shut down, walk away from, manipulate, lie or any number of other behaviors with one aim … to be “right.” Wether justified in our anger, escaping blame or accountability, running from confrontation, or just getting what we want, these are all back-stories that need to sorted and, hopefully, cut through. The Question behind the Question, Competent to Counsel and the book of Proverbs in The Bible are great resources for learning to hear what’s driving the emotion.
For example: some people become upset because they are not getting attention unless they produce results. But instead of addressing their unhappiness over the lack of attention and/or their lack of results, they bring in a third party and begin vilifying that person over something entirely unrelated. This is a common relational issue between Leaders and their people.
As a leader, there are some questions to think through in your own mind first: Why are they not producing results? Why haven’t they gone to the person they are upset with? Why did they bring in another person to complain about? What are they really upset about? What are they not taking responsibility for? Why are they complaining to me? Are they trying to create division, justify their excuses, gossip, or set up something in the future? Are they just frustrated or confused? What are their intentions?
What principals are being violated? Some to consider are: Not wanting to earn something, violating conflict resolution, creating gossip, creating division, and blaming others. In other words … Are they being a Victim?
Part of the art here is discerning another’s intention, discerning your level of trust with them and discerning the weight of the issues you are dealing with. Instrument in The Redeemers Hands, The Heart of a Leader and The Great Connection are great resources to grow this discernment. The main question to ask is: What’s in it for them?
I begin with asking myself several questions: How can I help them get down to the truth? How can I help them own what is theirs? How can I help them learn to confront or grow out of the issues? How can I help them learn conflict resolution? How can I move them to repair the relationship?
The First Step is remove the outside variables. It might look like this:
What does Mr. GuyUDon’tLike have to do with the issue between You and Mr. SuccessGuy?
Why are You upset that Mr. GuyUDon’tLike gets Mr. SuccessGuy’s time?
Has he done anything You haven’t to earn that time?
Could there be reasons he gets the time with Mr. GuyUDon’tLike we don’t know about?
So Mr. GuyUDon’tLike may have nothing to do with why You aren’t getting Mr. SuccessGuy’s time?
Wouldn’t it make sense to leave Mr. GuyUDon’tLike out of our discussion? Especial since there may be factor we don’y see.
The Second Step is to get to the root of the emotion.
Where is your frustration around not getting Mr SuccessGuy’s attention?
What do You mean by it’s “not fair?”
What do You think You would have to do to get his time?
Is that something You should be doing anyway?
The Third Step is to help them take responsibility.
What can You do to change the situation?
How could You ask Mr SuccessGuy what You need to do to earn his time?
When could You ask that question?
If we care for others then we will help them sort issues down to facts. Leaders help people take responsibility, reframe thinking, and change what they can. This requires love, patients and forgiveness. Orrin Woodward’s Resolved and Ken Sande’s – The Peacemaker are excellent resources for great leaders in this area.
In order to make a difference in the lives of others, improve outcomes, increase the speed of change, and build trust, we must first step back from a situation, learn to ask ourselves great questions, and then learn to ask questions with care of others. Become great at asking yourself questions first. Then ask God for help to grow your heart enough to ask great questions of others.
Hope this serves You Well – Chris