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Episode 40: The Question You’ve Wanted to Ask

confidence podcast Sep 27, 2022

When you’re wrestling with a question but can’t quite put it into words, what do you do? 

Frustration, uncertainty, lack of confidence are all clues that deep down there's a question that we haven’t yet found the answer to and maybe even have trouble articulating. So what does it take to express the deeper question within you?

Typically we keep pushing through but the stress or uncertainty can keep building. Instead, step back formulate the deeper question within you. 

Start with “How Do I ____” 

How do I get through this? How do I make this happen? How do I know what decision to make? Usually this kind of starter question comes from wanting to solve the uncertainty circling in the background. Naming the problem that you want to solve is an important place to start.

Who do I want to be in this uncertain space?

For example, if the “how to” problem solving question is something like, “How do I have this difficult conversation that I really want to avoid?” THEN, pause, and ask yourself WHO you want to be in the conversation. “What is the kind of experience I want to create at that moment?” Maybe even, “What is mine to do and what might I just have to let go of?”

What am I learning about myself or others at this moment? 

Having clarity on what you can learn in the situation changes your goal. Rather than focusing on having the perfect conversation, you're focusing on the one area where you want to grow. It gives a narrow lens of focus to your approach. It’s like creating a baby step. 

What matters most to me? 

Instead of giving voice to problems, or identity or even growth, this kind of question is getting at your values. Especially in moments where we don’t know what to do or the decision is creating some sort of angst for us – that’s where our values are probably showing up. We feel the dissonance but we can’t always put words to them. Giving voice to what’s important to you nuances your question further.

Because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all leadership world out there. That’s why questions that dive deep can be so valuable for becoming the leader you want to be.

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