If there’s one skill that will make you a better mother, father, friend, leader or co-worker, wouldn’t you do everything possible to learn it? Asking great questions is exactly that—the key to making you better at everything. The insight provided from these conversations will help you to gain greater clarity, deepen your relationships and show value to those you love and respect.Asking great questions is the key to making you better at everything.–Angela Howard Click To Tweet
From the time Ben and Emily were barely able to talk I asked them all sorts of questions. They weren’t always excited to answer them and would sometimes sigh saying: “Oh, Mom! We don’t want to play your games!”
Who, what, where, when, how, why and if are some of my favorite “beginnings” for great questions.
“What was your favorite moment today?”
“If you had the chance to…”
“When do you get angry?”
“Why do you think…”
Sometimes my questions would fall flat, but I never gave up. I relished the moments of great conversation and brushed off the rest. Last week while having a family game time, Emily grabbed the conversation baton and took it to the next level.
“I want everyone to think of something you value.” She said. “Once you have it in mind, each one of us will name something we think the other values and see who is closest.”
Here’s how it played out:
Emily says Dad values: Order
Angela says Michael values: Courtesy
Ben says Dad values: Consistency
Michael shares his value: Peace
Everyone laughs and talks about why they chose that value and why it’s important to Michael. Then, I quickly thought of my value and the others around the table started to share their guesses:
Ben guessing: Obedience
Michael guessing: Respect
After a short delay Emily abruptly predicts Honesty with a twinkle in her eye.
A grin spread across my face, “You got it Emily! That’s my value!”
Jumping up from the table and running over to my chair she threw her arms around me squealing, “I am my own favorite person in the world!” She was just so pleased to really know her mom.
It’s a beautiful gift to teach the next generation what it looks like to be fully known and fully loved. Through the years we’ve danced our way through awkward conversations, intense debates and difficult misunderstandings. And nevertheless we’ve pressed on to understand one another by the grace of God.
I challenge you today to join me in asking great questions.
Here’s a few to get you started:
What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
If you could hold on to one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
What’s your best memory during this past year?
What life lessons has your career taught you?
If you could go anywhere for a year, all expenses paid, where would you go?
What are the best qualities of a good friend?
I’d love to hear your ideas for some great questions! Will you leave a question in the comments below?
Find out how to get better at asking great questions in Part 2!
If you haven’t had a chance to read my book: How to Love Your Crazy Family: 52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days – you can pick it up on Amazon today in paperback or on your Kindle today!