These power questions can be found in Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others (Wiley, 2012), consultants Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas present more than 200 significant questions, along with stories about how to use them.
- “How did you get started?”
Ask people how they got their first job or decided to go into or like about the field that they are in now. By using background questions you are able to get a picture of what they value, what they consider to be important or where they are in their life . Everyone has a story but unless you ask, you will never know!
- “Is this the best you can do? How can I be helpful?””
You would be surprised at how many people actually appreciate it when you encourage them to do better. Instead of accepting their first efforts, give them an opportunity to do better. Do not allow them to just coast by. Call attention to their strengths, and mention that you have noticed that they are capable of doing more. Don’t let mediocrity or convenience replace goals.