How powerful questions inspire you to grow

Man explaining something to his colleague

We watched 35 videos to help you ask better questions, and then selected the 5 most useful and inspiring of them. To save you time you’ll find a summary for each one below. These videos try to make you a better listener, questioner, and leader….

1. Mike Vaughan

Mike Vaughan’s thoughtful presentation gives valuable insights into why we should ask better questions. The way of getting from automatic and reactionary thinking to deep thinking:

  1. Be aware of biological reactions

  2. Embrace emotions like uncertainty, anxiety, and stress

  3. Ask “What could we do?” instead of “What should we do?”

2. Celeste Headlee

In her funny and entertaining presentation, Celeste Headlee collected 10 basic rules for having a better conversation.

  1. Don’t multitask.

  2. Don’t pontificate. Let others respond to your opinion.

  3. Use open-ended questions.

  4. Go with the flow. That means thoughts will come into your mind and you need to let them go out of your mind. While your partner talks to you, listen to what he says and don’t think about something else.

  5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.

  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs. All experiences are unique.

  7. Try not to repeat yourself.

  8. Leave the details out. People don’t care about the years, the names, the dates.

  9. Listen.

  10. Be brief.

3. Julian Treasure

Julian Treasure advised us to do 5 simple exercises in order to improve our listening skills.

  1. Be in silence for three minutes a day.

  2. Pay attention to the sound. How many individual channels of sound can you hear?

  3. Enjoy mundane sounds like a coffee grinder.

  4. Change your listening position.

  5. RASA stands for Receive, which means pay attention to the person; Appreciate, making little noises like “hmm,” “oh,” “okay”; Summarize, the word “so” is very important in communication; and Ask, ask questions afterward.

4. Rosalinde Torres

In her thought-provoking presentation, Rosalinde Torres declared that leadership in the 21st century is defined and evidenced by three questions.

  1. Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life?

  2. What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network?

  3. Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?

5. David Clutterbuck

Professor David Clutterbuck believes that powerful question is powerful because it has an impact, that is why the context makes the question powerful. He created an acronym for defining a powerful question: PRAIRIE. P stands for Personal because it relates to you. R stands for Resonant because it hits you emotionally and intellectually. A and I stand for Acute and Insensitive, which means it gets right to the point. R stands for Reverberating because it keeps coming back to haunt you. I stands for Innocent because it doesn’t have the agenda of the person asking it, it’s solely for the benefit of the person who’s being asked. E stands for Explicit because it’s simply expressed.

Sendsteps believes that everybody should be able to speak up during presentations. We make free PPT software that allows your audience to vote and send messages live on your slides using their phone. Do you want to give it a try?

Robert Daverschot

Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!