Written by Mauricio Duarte

On our shelves: Power Questions

“Good questions are often far more powerful than answers.”

This bold statement by the authors of “Power Questions” perfectly describes their book. As Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas assert, good questions not only challenge one’s thinking, but knowing the right questions to ask in the appropriate setting has the power to ignite interesting and compelling conversations. Power questions can act as the tools you need to get directly to the heart of the matter.

Power questions can help build and deepen relationships, allowing those who ask them to become more effective at influencing clients, coworkers, and friends.

Each chapter of this book describes a real-life situation that was transformed by a powerful question and provides tips on how to use those questions in a personal and professional setting. All in all, the authors provide you with 337 questions (don’t worry… there are only 35 chapters) that can be used in a variety of settings.

Three power questions you can use

Here are three of the Power Questions that might help you become more compelling to those around you.

  1. What do you think? Make sure people know that you hear them. Ask this question, listen, and soak up as much information as you can.
  2. How will this further your mission and goals? Our day-to-day lives can distract us from our personal and professional goals. This question can keep people on track.
  3. What have we decided today? Don’t let the conversation get away from you and walk away from a meeting with no action steps. Writing down a list of next steps is easy, binds a group together, and creates firm commitment to follow through.

Throughout the book, the authors leverage their own experiences — successes and failures — to show the reader how the questions can effectively turn a situation around or steer the conversation in the right direction. They also emphasize the importance of asking the right questions and then listening for the answers. As they put it, “good listeners are not only popular everywhere, but after a while, they learn a thing or two.”

If you’re curious, see what other books are on our shelves.

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