How to Think Better: 7 questions

Anyone who knows me knows I love questions. The more the better.

I’m a big believer in asking questions. A quality question can open the door to discovery and invite breakthrough thinking. It generates insight, which can lead to action and ignite change.

Perhaps you have a friend or colleague who’s adept at asking quality questions that trigger a new way of looking at the issue, a possible solution, a new awareness, a deeper insight.

They ask. You answer. The Aha! moment follows. You walk away from the conversation with a deeper understanding about the topic or about yourself—often both.

7 questions

But here’s the thing: You don’t have to wait for someone to ask the questions. You can do it for yourself, which can be equally as powerful and insight-generating.

Here’s an exercise specifically designed to spark seven separate questions, one each starting with Which, Who, When, Where, What, How, and Why.

Think about what’s on your mind in relation to your current situation, challenge, or dilemma. What keeps you up at night? What would you love to have answers to?

Using the 7 interrogative words expands the type of questions you might normally generate. For instance, a client habitually turned to Why? questions—to the exclusion of others. For instance, she would ask:

  • Why is it taking so long to close a sale?
  • Why is it so difficult to overcome objections?

Expand your thinking

She found The 7 Questions approach shifted her perspective and expanded her thinking simply because the types of questions she started asking were different. As a result of expanding her thinking, new possibilities and paths of action were revealed.

Here’s what she formulated during an initial round of The 7 Questions:

  • Which sales process is authentic to me?
  • Who do I need to be to close a sale?
  • When will I feel confidence in what I’m doing?
  • Where is the disconnect between my marketing and sales activities?
  • What is the best process for qualifying leads?
  • How can I build relationships with prospects during the sales process?
  • Why am I not connecting with my target client?

I encourage you to give it a try—right now. 

It’s a tremendously powerful way to gain clarity and get unstuck.

Grab a pen and write Which, Who, When, Where, What, How, and Why vertically along the left side of a piece of paper. Then spend a few minutes brainstorming the questions foremost on your mind.

Don’t judge or try to answer the questions that come to mind. For now, simply come from a place of curiosity and be open to the questions on your mind.

What 7 questions will you ask?