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The power of great questions

January 5, 2012

I’ve been enamoured with good questions for about a decade now, ever since I had the privilege of receiving a series of workplace coaching experiences through a network of public service managers.

This freshly-pressed post reminded me of that power when it asked “…before you start 2012, why not  STOP and ask the right questions? Questions like:

  • What energised me most in 2011?
  • Which relationships brought me the most joy? Why?
  • Which relationships put me under the most pressure? Why?
  • What were the “defining moments” of 2011?
  • What strengths did I see in myself during 2011?
  • Under which conditions did I see myself thrive?
  • What did I avoid doing that I know I most needed to do?
  • What books and mentors had the greatest impact on me? Why?
  • Am I closer to my friends and family from my activities last year?”

I’d say that the #change11 and #cck11 moocs were two of my most energizing experiences at work in 2011.  I burst the balloon on a couple of relationships that were dragging me down and turned my attention to other relationships that were worth watering.  I found myself thriving in conditions of autonomy, trust, connectivity and collaboration and I actively avoided situations where those conditions were eroding or absent.

I was entertained and influenced by Eat That Frog (Brian Tracy), The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin), Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), My Life as an Experiment (A.J. Jacobs), Working Smarter (Jay Cross), Water the Flowers Not the Weeds (Fletcher Peacock), A New Culture of Learning (Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown), Social Media For Trainers (Jane Bozarth) and Bossypants (Tina Fey).

I am definitely closer to my friends and family than ever.

What questions are in your mind about 2011 and 2012?


From → Smarter worker

  1. jupidu permalink

    Hi and a happy new year 🙂
    While listening to Howard Rheingold I came to read your last blogposts. Great questions! For me the experience of #change11 was very important in 2011 – and I’m looking forward to 2012,

    • Thanks, jupidu, a happy 2012 to you as well! Looking forward to seeing you around #change11 as the course continues. 🙂

  2. It’s not specifically related to your post, but I had to share:
    Courtesy of Craig Taylor on Twitter 🙂
    And did you see the latest Learnlets?

    • Thanks, Melanie, I really enjoyed this description of ‘punishing mediocrity’ (LOL). It boggles me that we continue to prattle on about learning objectives and teacher-led interventions like that when all anyone has to do is Google a YouTube video of how to make a cup of tea (or have the instructor make his or her own video and upload it). Problem solved in about 3 mins. (or longer if you like your tea steeped!) 😉 Didn’t see Learnlets as I am trying to cut down on all my RSS feed stuff lately. Happy 2012!

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