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The 2 Questions You Must Routinely Ask if You Want to Reach Your Goals Faster

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how to reach your goals faster

How many of your decisions can be explained by: “That’s the way things are done”? Clayton Christensen, the world’s leading authority on the topic of disruptive innovation wrote that, “[an] IBM poll of fifteen hundred CEOs identified creativity as the number-one ‘leadership competency’ of the future.”

Do you accept and follow the way things have always been done, or do you have the capacity to creatively think outside the box and find a better way?

What if you’re one of the many unlucky souls that was not blessed with the talent of creativity? As sales expert and author Jeffrey Gitomer puts it, “Creativity is a science that you can learn.”

The 2 Questions That Lead To Endless Innovation

There’s no need to wait for inspiration to strike. There are numerous techniques and exercises that can be proactively employed in order to develop creative ideas, strategies and solutions.

Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko is a treasure trove full of such tactics. If you want to become more creative and innovative in both your personal and professional life, then it’s absolutely worth a read.

One of my favorite creativity exercises involves asking the same two questions over and over again. It’s a simple, but effective way to become a truly innovative thinker.

Question #1: Why?

Asking “Why” is an important first step to finding a better way of doing things. Take for example Sally Sellmorestuff.

Sally is a sales manager who wants to bring in a motivational speaker to speak to her team. She could ask herself, “Why should I invite a motivational speaker?” The answer would probably be that she wants to generate a more optimistic attitude among her team.

But, Sally shouldn’t stop there. Remember, this method involves asking the same two questions over and over again. So, she should ask…

Q: Why do I want to generate a more optimistic attitude among my team?

A: So that they will work harder.

Q: Why do I want them to work harder?

A: So that they will sell more products.

Q: Why do I want them to sell more products?

A: So that the numbers for my department look better.

Q: Why do I want better numbers?

A: So I can get a promotion.

Q: Why do I want a promotion?

A: So I can make more money.

Q: Why do I want more money?

A: So I can buy a nicer house and car.

Q: Why do I want a nicer house and car?

A: So I can enjoy life more.

At this point, Sally has recognized some of the deeper motivations for her actions. This leads us to the next question.

“The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.” – Peter Abelard

Question #2: How?

At each stage of her questioning, Sally can ask herself if she is making the ideal choice. For example, is bringing in a motivational speaker the most efficient and effective way to generate a more optimistic attitude among her team?

She can then ask herself “How” else she could accomplish this goal. Would it be more effective to engage in one-on-one mentoring with the individuals in her team? Could she accomplish her goal more efficiently by purchasing a motivational book for each team member? Would it be enough to simply send a motivational quote to her team via email once a week?

The real beauty of this system is that she can ask “How” at every stage of her original line of questioning. So, for example:

How can I get my team to work harder?

How can we sell more products?

How can I make more money?

How can I enjoy life more?

And so on…

If Sally could come up with just three new how’s for each of her why’s, she would suddenly have over 20 strategies from which she could choose, that might bring her closer to achieving what she wants in life.

With all these choices, she might recognize a much better way to reach her goals. For example, depending on her personal preferences, she might determine that if her real goal is to enjoy life more, then she should quit her job, move to the country and start her own farm. In that case, inviting a motivational speaker is not even close to the ideal way for her to achieve her real goals.

On the other hand, she might determine that bringing in the speaker is indeed most likely the best thing to do. In that case, at least now she has a much clearer picture of what she wants in life. That’s something she can keep in mind and make use of in the future.

“No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Conclusion

Why spend time on social media? Why start the morning with a cup of coffee? Why stay in your current job? These are all questions that could get the ball rolling. These are all questions that could help you discover the real reason why you want the things you want.

If you’re willing to ask “Why” and then “How” you may discover that achieving your goals is much simpler than you thought. Chances are, you have many more strategies to choose from than you realized.

I recommend making it a habit to routinely ask “Why”. (And don’t be satisfied with, “That’s the way we do things.”) Then ask “How”. See if you can’t find a better way. Make this a routine and you may soon discover endless possibilities for improvement in your work, your relationships, your finances, your hobbies and your entire life.

How do you bring creativity and innovation into your life? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Seth Coyne is a copywriter and branding consultant. Click here to download his Innovation Cheatsheet with 9 hacks to creating an endless stream of brilliant ideas for entrepreneurship, business growth and career advancement. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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