Powerful Question or Cliche?

Interesting post over at SAMBA blog about the power of the:

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?


Does it make you a powerful life transformer – or just another cliche ridden life coach?

There is no doubt IMHO  that this is potentially a life changing question.

It IS also a cliche.

What makes the difference is the nature of the relationship that you have with the person who you are asking.

If you have respect, credibility and trust – then the question will be taken on board.

Ask it too early though and you will be just another cliche ridden life coach.

For me, enterprise and entrepreneurship are great processes through which people can ‘find themselves’ and allow their true identity to emerge.

Done well this is a thing of beauty.

I have written more about this topic at http://tinyurl.com/djxwsx and http://tinyurl.com/aqgweq

The art of ‘enterprise coaching’ is not just about having great questions – it is also about having the relationship that permits you to ask them.

And we should never be afraid of asking the BIG, SCARY questions – but we must have the right relationship first.

2 Replies to “Powerful Question or Cliche?”

  1. It’s a powerful question for temporarily removing self-imposed limiting decisions. It frees people up to be more intuitive, more instinctive. Those are the sources of real motivation, real movement. So it’s an important question.

    I’ve had the privilege of watching a group of people who answered this question in November 2002 evolve and grow. There are some amazing stories. The out of work conductor who conducted The Royal Philharmonic. The business man who set up a ground-breaking charity to work with prisoners and families to find alternatives to violence. The snapper who secured private portrait sessions with Nelson Mandela. The man who was scared of flying who got his private pilot’s licence and is now a captain at Easyjet.

    The question invites hypotheses that must then be explored to find practical steps. That step is not about re-finding limitations but it is about getting real. For every success story, there are half a dozen people who are left flatter and more doubting because they ignored the “if” in the question. It’s not an assertion that you cannot fail but an invitation to imagine you can’t.

    The coach or mentor therefore holds very special responsibility to help the client explore both the boundless possibilities AND the concrete steps.

    The Easyjet pilot had to go on phobia programmes. Then fly as a passenger, then in a simulator, then PPL, then … It took years. The charity founder has worked tirelessly for virtually nothing (and still does) to get to the point where he had his conference opened by the Home Secretary and the Chief of Met Police.

    The acid test of the process is whether the individual can find the courage and resilience to take the steps towards their goal and not just fantasise about the outcome.

    Our job is not just to build hope and dreams but to build the capacity and tenacity to make them come true.

    1. Agree fully Jim. The power of the question depends on the power of the coach.

      Asked at the wrong time, with a relationship that is not credible enough and it flops, big time.

      And that is not down to the question – but the coach.

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