Here’s something to rock your world: you have all of the answers to every question you want to know.
Really, I mean it.
All the answers live inside of you.
The issue is we’ve been taught is to ask questions of other people whenever we “don’t know.”
I never want you to indulge in “I don’t know.” Ever.
Your brain loves it. It keeps you stuck.
My other life hack, ask your mind questions, is something that can keep you from doing that. I got into an $18k coaching program without paying for it using that tool (read the story here). It’s a life changer.
Asking your mind questions is about ASKING questions, but Question Leadership is about ANSWERING them.
Every time you ask someone a question and they give you an answer, what happens is they get better and you get a quick fix.
This quick fix, the answer, was something you had the power of finding out, but you gave it away.
It’s time to take your power back and realize that you can figure out whatever it is that you may have a question about.
In this blog post, I teach you a new tool called Question Leadership, which helps you answer your own questions so you can grow and achieve your biggest goals.
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — Question Leadership.
Question Leadership Defined
Let’s start by defining what leading, and being a leader, means.
To lead (and be a leader) means you cause people to move forward; you are the boss, guiding people to accomplish an objective.
Question Leadership means answering your own questions to move forward in the direction of your intention.
It will help you stop relying on other people for the answers and start relying on yourself.
Once you learn how to do it, you’ll never look at a question the same way again.
How To Apply Question Leadership In Your Life
Question Leadership means you answer your question and are aware of your reasoning before you ask someone else.
There are a few things that this process requires that you do in order to put it into practice.
Question Leadership requires that you do the following:
- Have a question
- Come up with a proposed answer
- Know your reasoning
- Take action and test your answer
- Evaluate (did it work?)
- Repeat at Step 2 above, if necessary
- If you still can’t figure it out, THEN ask your question (if there’s even someone to ask)
You use Question Leadership when there’s a circumstance that you have a question about.
This circumstance may be an obstacle or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward.
Instead of asking someone right away for the answer, you come up with what you think could be the answer.
You know why you think this could be the answer (meaning, you know your reasoning).
Then, depending on the situation, you test your answer yourself to see if you were right or you ask someone, showing them that you made an effort first.
You may be wrong, and that’s okay!
Of course, if you’re asking a question that you think you don’t know the answer to, you’ll be wondering how you’ll answer it.
You’ll answer it by thinking.
Give it your best educated guess with your reason why.
Your brain loves confusion, so “I don’t know” can sometimes be a default answer.
Never let “I don’t know” be an answer. It will keep you stuck forever.
- You can also check out How To Make Better Decisions, a great podcast on how to improve your decision making process.
Even if you’re wrong with your answer, give it a guess.
This is fine because, right or wrong, you’re moving in a forward direction and you’re learning.
When I worked for The Life Coach School, founder Brooke Castillo had a rule that you can’t ask anyone a question without filling out a “Decision Filter.” This filter essentially requires you to answer your own question and give the reason why. When I would chat with her and ask a question, she was always asking for my reasoning why. She explained that giving my reasoning was so important because it helped her to know why I made the decision so she could teach me how to think better. Boy, was that a humbling experience.
An amazing experience, nonetheless, and in the end, I think better because of it.
If you use Question Leadership when it comes to answering your own questions, it will be hard but so worth it.
Why Question Leadership Is Hard
Our culture teaches us to be dependent.
We grow up thinking our parents have all the answers at home and then we go to school and think our teachers have all the answers at school.
Since we’re raised to think parents and teachers have the answers to all of our questions, we ask them over and over again.
And they answer them.
Looking for the answer outside of yourself will be your natural tendency because it’s what your brain is used to.
When you stop relying on everyone else for the answer and train yourself to answer your own questions, you will solve your own problems and create the results you want for yourself.
You won’t have excuses of “not knowing how to do something” to get in the way of moving forward.
Question Leadership helps you move forward in all areas of your life which is super important.
Why Question Leadership Is Super Important
Question Leadership is important for success in any area of your life, and it’s super important if you ever want to create new results in your future.
If you’re an online entrepreneur (aka if you make money online as a blogger or life coach), you have to know how to do this. (If you’re not and you’re interested in becoming one, see my Online Business Resources page!)
Successful entrepreneurs know how to answer their own questions.
The result of doing this is you’ll gain more confidence. You’ll start to realize you have the answer and if you don’t, you can figure it out.
When you use Question Leadership, you lead your life.
You don’t need other people to solve your problems. You solve your problems.
If you don’t use this, the result will be that the person answering your question will get better at whatever you’re asking and you’ll stay the same.
You won’t grow or increase your thinking power and you won’t get closer to achieving your goal.
You may get a quick answer (short term gratification) but it’ll be at the expense of long term success.
I see this scenario play out all the time because people ask me questions about their businesses ALL THE TIME.
I always have the answer because I always work to figure it out.
I didn’t go to Booth to get an MBA. I have no official training. I just come from a place of I’ll figure it out.
I’ve figured out so much in business, that I trust myself to get the result.
I always do get the result because if I don’t know the answer, my brain now defaults to trying SOMETHING (anything) to move forward.
When someone leans on me for the answer, I get better at problem solving and growing my business and they don’t.
They actually do the opposite — they reinforce the belief that someone else has the answer, not them.
As a coach and mentor, I’ve had to learn how to help my students answer their own questions instead of giving them the answer myself.
In Online Business For Her, all the answers are inside the course, but I also let my students e-mail me with their questions. Instead of answering these emails with all the answers, I help them answer their own questions.
I want to help you answer YOUR questions. I want you to get better at answering your own questions so that you automatically get better at moving forward.
Now that you understand how important Question Leadership is, it’s good to know when to use it.
When You Should Use Question Leadership
You should use Question Leadership any time you have a question.
The added bonus to using Question Leadership is your boss and people around you will be shocked because no one really tries to answer their own questions out of habit. 🙂
You should use it in your work life — regardless of whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur. You should also do this in your personal life, including when you set goals or are simply trying to figure out how to manage your time.
Real life examples of when to use Question Leadership…
Work life (as an employee)
- Circumstance: There’s a project you’re working on with a group, and you’re wondering how to create the graphics for the presentation.
- Question: How is the best way to create the graphics for the presentation for the client?
- Answer: Using iStock photos, Canva, and PowerPoint with stock photos and your logo.
- Reasoning: You have access to all these resources at your company and using them together in this new way will provide the client with a better visual experience than simply using the stock presentation templates.
- Plan: Get comfortable using all of your resources; create a presentation using them; preview it with a coworker; evaluate. If the presentation doesn’t go over well, check in with a coworker who can help you improve for next time.
Work life (as an entrepreneur)
- Circumstance: You’re not making the amount of money in your online business that you want to, and you’re wondering how to make more money but have no clue how.
- Question: How can I make more money in my online business?
- Answer: Create a new digital product to sell (maybe a course), then use email marketing to sell it.
- Reasoning: I know from Russell Brunson’s books 1) Dot Com Secrets and 2) Expert Secrets that from $0 to $1M it’s all about “the what and the how” – what I’m selling and how I’m selling it. If I’m not making money in my business, I need to come up with a plan to sell something (the what) and figure out how to sell it (the how). Selling a digital course seems like a popular way that other online businesses make money, so it could also work in mine. Email marketing is also the most popular way to sell, so using that seems reasonable.
- Plan: Create an online course; take a course in email marketing; implement everything; evaluate. If revenue has not increased, learn other methods of selling the course before nixing this idea.
Personal life (with the goal of losing weight)
- Circumstance: You’ve tried many diets and you haven’t lost weight yet but you still want to lose weight.
- Question: How can I lose weight?
- Answer: I’m going to try intermittent fasting.
- Reasoning: I’ve read a lot of studies and books and know that the real way to lose weight is to eat less (it’s not about going to the gym more). I’ve also seen a lot of people get amazing results with intermittent fasting. I’ve never tried it because it seems hard, but I want to get stronger and more confident, so this is something I’m willing to try.
- Plan: Only eat during an eight hour period every day, from 10am to 6pm. No exceptions. Continue to weigh myself daily to track progress. Reevaluate in one month.
These are just a few examples of when to use Question Leadership.
Not everything you do is going to work, as you can see from these examples, and that’s okay!
When It Doesn’t Work
Question Leadership teaches you how to rely on yourself, think better, have more confidence, and create the result you want in your future.
However, using it doesn’t always mean that you’re going to be right.
Meaning, many of the answers that you come up with when you answer your own question will be wrong.
It’s okay to be wrong, in fact, it’s normal — especially in the beginning.
You’re learning how to think for yourself. You’re learning how to think better.
When you practice and learn these things, you will improve.
Not to mention the point isn’t to always be right.
The point of Question Leadership is to rely on yourself and KNOW that you can move forward without someone else telling you what to do.
If someone else always has the answer, you are stuck. If you are always capable of figuring out the answer, you can move forward.
With this in mind, plan on being wrong. More importantly, plan on not making that mean something.
There’s no upside to beating yourself up. That’s the ultimate sabotage and it’s completely unnecessary.
When you’ve tried everything you can to answer a question and you keep coming up with the wrong answer, it’s okay to ask someone else.
Sometimes, It’s Okay To Ask (After You’ve Tried)
With Question Leadership, the point is to get you to be less dependent on other people so that you don’t falsely believe that they’re creating your results.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can never ask questions.
If you’re asking yourself questions, answering them, and you keep taking action and getting stuck, THEN ask someone a question if there’s someone to ask.
Ask the question and share your testing and reasoning.
There’s no problem when you do it that way.
The problem is when you have a question and your immediate plan of action is to ask someone else right away.
Make sure that before you ever ask someone a question (whether it’s a real person or a Facebook group), you’ve thought of the potential answer, have some reasoning to back it up, and have tested things out.
This new life hack is going to take time and practice, but I promise you that becoming less dependent on other people and more confident in yourself is going to work wonders in your life.
Start today by putting Question Leadership into action in your life.
Putting Question Leadership Into Action
There will be many moments in any given day to put Question Leadership into action.
Just think of all of the questions you ask on a daily basis!
I’ve successfully put this life hack into action more times than I can count and so I have a few tips for you.
My tips for putting Question Leadership into action…
- Always have an educated guess for every question you ask.
- Never ask a question without sharing what you think could be the answer and why.
- Don’t allow your brain to be confused or sit in “I don’t know.”
- When you start solving your own problems and answering your own questions, look at this evidence to support doing it more in the future. You’ll increase your confidence this way because you’ll have new thoughts of belief in yourself.
- Start using this today!
A Final Note!
Answering your own questions is one of my favorite personal development tools because it allows you to count on yourself for your own success and not other people.
By answering your own questions, you can grow and achieve your biggest goals.
When you achieve your biggest goals, you can look back and be confident that you did that for yourself.
Be a leader with your questions and in turn become a leader of your own life.
You might also want to check out Grow You, my coaching program.