“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself”
– Abraham Maslow
Welcome to this brand new week!
This week’s quote is from American psychologist Abraham Maslow, on the relationship between change and awareness.
Sometimes we come across people in our life who we wish would change. Our spouse, our kids, our friends or co-workers etc. Most often we are seeking a change in behaviour or attitude that we feel would make our life easier in some way.
Just as frequently, we might feel disappointed in the results we are getting from our own behaviour or attitude, which will necessitate making a change in order to avoid the situation repeating again.
The good news, is that the answer to both of these scenarios is the same, and it comes down to raising awareness. And the best way to raise awareness is through questions. Specifically, open ended questions.
Questions that start with “what” and “how” are great to get started. Avoid asking “why?” both of yourself and others as it tends to provoke a defensive response which is not conducive to learning. Here are a few examples to get you started:
– What was your intention when you did that?
– How could I handle that differently next time?
– What would be an ideal outcome here?
– How might my actions have impacted on the people around me?
– What is standing in your way?
Any question that invites someone to go a bit deeper will be effective at raising awareness, if asked from a place of curiosity and non-judgement. Sometimes one question will be enough, other times more will be needed, and you might need to ask the same question more than once.
Coaching is all about raising awareness and a great coach will bring great questions to take you to the next level of thinking. But anyone can take a “coaching approach” to conversations to get better outcomes.
Try some of the questions above when you get a chance this week and see what happens!
Until next week, take care,
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