Questions Proactive People Ask

You’re doomed if you can’t change direction. A turbulent world requires you to be light on your feet. But you can’t get anywhere when you constantly change direction.

Constant reacting eventually makes you feel powerless.

We give away control because it feels safe.

Image of a cactus in a pot with a watering can beside it.

The hardest problem to see is the one you caused yourself.

Questions proactive people ask:

#1. Questions about roots or fruits:

  1. What is the root of this issue?
  2. What is the fruit of this issue?
  3. What comes to mind when we focus on roots instead of fruits?

You’re solving symptoms when the same issue keeps kicking you in the pants.

#2. Questions about pattern recognition:

The pattern is the problem when you keep solving the same problem.

  1. How many times have we faced this situation in the last 30 days?
  2. What ways of thinking/behaving propagate this situation?
  3. What else might we try?

When the same issues keep coming back, current solutions aren’t working.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Jessie Porter

#3. Questions about fire or smoke:

When the house is on fire get the heck out. Most of the time the house is not on fire, even though there’s lots of smoke.

If you can show up tomorrow morning and do your work, the house is not on fire.

  1. What’s the short-term win?
  2. What’s the medium-term win? This issue will be a win in 30 days if ….
  3. How did yesterday’s solution cause today’s problem?

The hardest problem to see is the one you caused yourself.

#4. Questions to ask before doing anything.

  1. What happens if we press forward without changing anything?
  2. What’s within our control? Trying to control the uncontrollable leads to disappointment.
  3. Who should take action now?
  4. How much of this situation is about people? When an issue is about people, everything else is smoke.

How might people be proactive in a reactive world?