A good question is like a mirror, reflecting back the true meaning of a situation or an experience for the first time. A really good question can be life changing.
With this in mind, I’ve taken inspiration from the work of Psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Hallowell (http://www.drhallowell.com/add-adhd/add-business/shine-2/) and suggested some darn good questions below. They have a number of uses; at home with teens, inspiration for writing in a journal or at work, especially if you manage/coach people. By the way, if you are asking staff in work, give them some time to think about their answers before you discuss!
Question 1: What are you best at doing?
Why is this important: This question focuses your mind towards your strengths, which you should develop. We all can’t be good at everything, so what’s your sweet spot?!
Question 2: What do you wish you were better at?
Why is this important: Here you identify a skills/knowledge gap. Or it might help you identify an area that is proving difficult despite your efforts.
Question 3: What talents do you have that you haven’t developed?
Why is this important: The answer to this question reveals your intrinsic motivators, passion and purpose. Don’t be shy!
Question 4: What skills do you have that you are most proud of?
Why is this important: Often our proudest moments come from hard won achievements. The answer to this question can reveal your values and untapped energy.
Question 5: What do others comment on most often as being your greatest strengths?
Why is this important: Often we miss the value of our own skills/abilities/knowledge, we’ve become unconsciously competent. The answer to this question may reveal some strengths you have failed to notice.
Question 6: What have you gotten better at that you used to be bad at?
Why is this important: This response reminds you of the benefit of effort and hard work in your life.
Question 7: What are you just not getting better at, no matter how hard you try?
Why is this important: Your response here is an indication of activities/behaviour etc. that is not a good match for you and perhaps you need to rethink where you are placing your focus.
Question 8: The lack of which skills most gets in your way?
Why is this important: What skill is required in your life and hindering your progress or potential. Your answer to this question might lead you to take a course, read a book, or work with a mentor or coach.)
Question 9: What sort of people do you work best/worst with?
Why is this important: Understanding your team can help to depersonalise work conflicts. Work environment is very important for work happiness, so what culture do you prefer?
Question 10: What do you like to do the most?
Why is this important: This is not always the same as the answer to question 1. I believe that if we spend minimum 50 years working, shouldn’t that be spent in something you like?