The One Question Challenge

Curiosity is the universal answer to aspiration, frustration, disappointment, and opportunity.

Talk as much as you want as long as curiosity motivates your words.

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13 powers of curiosity:

  1. Connection. Show interest in someone if you hope to connect with them.
  2. Respect. Sincere curiosity feels like respect.
  3. Softens. Curiosity softens the blow of tough conversations.
  4. Invitation. Curiosity is an open door.
  5. Lowering. An honest question lowers barriers.
  6. Expansion. Questions create more opportunities than statements.
  7. Ignition. Energy goes up when curiosity comes out.
  8. Exploration. Curiosity is both a telescope and a microscope.
  9. Acknowledgement. Show respect for what others may know.
  10. Openings. New perspectives follow curiosity.
  11. Challenge. “I haven’t thought about that,” indicates new options are possible.
  12. Revelation. We all hold false assumptions that propagate frustration and disappointment.
  13. Transformation. Forward-facing curiosity transforms a problem to opportunity.

One question challenge:

Ask at least one question before making statements.

Two question challenge:

Ask two questions before making one statement.

The two-question challenge doesn’t apply to every conversation. You may come off as evasive or indecisive, if you ask too many questions. Use second questions to:

  1. Clarify.
  2. Define.
  3. Respect.

3 warnings:

You can’t have too much curiosity, but you can ask too many questions.

#1. Don’t hide behind questions. Reveal yourself.

#2. Don’t use questions to control or manipulate.

#3. Avoid machine gun questions. One question after another feels like the inquisition.

  1. Make statements before asking questions. “That’s really interesting. Tell me more.”
  2. Explain motivation when asking questions. “I’m working on a project that I think you might know about. Could I ask you some questions?”
  3. Declare intent before asking questions. People wonder what your’re after. Tell them.
  4. Show gratitude for responses to questions.
  5. Use language like:
    • That’s interesting.
    • I hadn’t thought of that.
    • I’d like to learn more.
    • That’s fascinating.

What is powerful about curiosity?

How does the “one question challenge” feel to you? The two question challenge?


I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore having Bob Hancox and me come to your organization to develop the coaching skills of your team.