4 Questions that Guide Your Most Important Conversation
Quality of conversations predicts quality of life.
I talk to strangers even though momma said not to. You talk to dogs, babies, team members, bosses, family members, neighbors, and store clerks. Some talk to God. Others talk to nature. But the most important conversation you have is the one you have with yourself.
You guide action with words.
The quality of your leadership is directed by the conversation you have with yourself. Action begins with thought. Thoughts are words you say to yourself.
4 questions that guide the most important conversation:
Two of my clients reflect on the way home. One said he replays the day like a movie in his head. You probably do the same thing but haven’t noticed.
Brains run to dark places without direction. Tell your brain what to think about when you reflect. Self-defeating behaviors take root in gray matter.
Use structure to protect yourself from an angry inner critic. Guide self-reflection with established questions.
- What are you glad you did today? You hate work if you aren’t happy about things you did.
- How did people feel when your conversation with them ended? Anyone can beat down. Leaders energize action.
- What did you plan to do today? What actually got done?
- How did you serve your future self today?
Quality of questions determines quality of self-reflection.
Talk to action:
One leader said he calls people when he feels uncomfortable about a conversation. He doesn’t wait to get home. He calls them on the drive home. “Sometimes people say what they really think on the phone. It feels less confrontational than face-to-face.”
He might say, “I don’t feel good about our conversation.” This leads to reflecting on original intent and evaluating outcomes. He’s owning it, not blaming.
What questions for reflection do you suggest?