Three simple questions

What do you see?

What could you do?

What will you do?

Three simple questions that when combined …

I’ve been talking a lot about the power of powerful questions (who, what, where, when, why, which, & how) lately and the growing list of questions I have collected over the years. As a leadership coach inquiry through powerful questions to deliver extraordinary results is my craft. I have my favorite fallback questions

 “What If…?” and “How might we…?” 

And my big question 

“What do you want? What do you really, really, want?” 

Yet there is something about the combination of the three questions; What do you see? What could you do? What will you do? that inspires me to share this tool again and again.

Here is how the questions work together.

First, although there are 3 questions in a specific sequence they are not stacked. Stacking is asking questions in rapid succession without sufficient space between questions to allow for thoughtful reflection and response. Instead each question builds a connection to the next. This neural-like pathway contains a vast array of informational building blocks.

The beauty of each question lays concealed under its simplistic appearance. What do you see, is not asking about visual input. It is an inquiry of deep observation and wholistic perception. What is happening contextually from the micro to the macro. What is here and now? It is understanding the data, the meta-data, and the connections between the data. Here we grasp what is being said and what is left unsaid. In this deep state of observation we see the limiting beliefs and assumptions holding us back. Feeling is understanding. We gain knowledge to propel us forward into possibility.

Having this contextual foundation allows us to ask, “What could you do?” The intent being - from the here and now - what is possible? Although anything is possible, we are constrained by our current state, our contextual starting point. However, we are ultimately unlimited in what is possible from here. When we ask what could we do, we consider the obvious and the practical. With the intent of what is possible, our range expands into the infinite. This question asks us to stand simultaneously within and outside of the box. Possibility to journey from the profane through the sacred and back again.

From the divergent thinking of the possible new bonds begin to form. Convergence then consolidates this energy into a call for action, "What will you do?" What right action will you take to move the current state forward into the realm of possibility? This personal call to action is founded in the deep understanding of the current state, and propelled forward by the energy of possibility. What is it that you can no longer not do? "What will you do?"

My 3 question tool:

What do you see? Deep observation of the as is state.

What could you do? Explore possibility and generate momentum.

What will you do? Take positive action to move forward.

Three simple questions that when combined deliver extraordinary results.

 I’ll be addressing the topic The Power of Powerful Questions at Mile High Agile 2017 on May 23.