The Power of a Good Question

The Power of a Good Question

Howard Hendricks says, “You can impress from a distance, but you can only impact up close.” If we want to influence others, we must take time to get to know them.

What’s one very powerful way to get to know someone? By asking good questions!

Recently, I was in a hard discussion with someone who came to me with a list of things she thought I was doing wrong. This person assumed many things that someone else had said about me. To say the least, I was hurt and confused! In the middle of her list, I requested if she would consider asking me questions instead of accusing me. The conversation changed, as she sought to understand me and the situation. Within a few minutes, the atmosphere became one of genuine care and kindness.

Questions can provide an open door in any relationship for someone to be known. They can also provide understanding in hard circumstances or situations.

Judy Douglas, wife of  Steve Douglas, Cru’s president, shares with us 10 questions that she likes to ask. As we seek to build strong relationships with neighbors, co-workers and even our families, these questions provide an opportunity to get to know someone better.

  1. What are you thankful for today?
  2. What is something you have learned lately?
  3. If you could change something in your life (circumstances, job, attitude, family…), what would it be?
  4. What/who has encouraged you this week?
  5. If you could design your own job, what would it look like?
  6. What book (or movie) has influenced you in the past month?
  7. What is something you’ve often dreamed of doing?
  8. What is the scariest/most challenging thing you have ever done?
  9. If someone asked you for advice for a happy life, what would you tell them?
  10. And my favorite:  How has God surprised you lately?
Our words are powerful. 

“…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”  James 3:8,9

What’s a question someone has asked YOU that made you feel loved? How did the question demonstrate that they were taking time to get to know you?

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Joan Parsons, with three teenagers under her roof — and one away at college! — is thankful for her husband and naps. Between laundry loads and fixing beef, you might find her in the McDonald’s drive-through ordering a coke with extra ice and a chocolate chip cookie … because this is her happy place.

1 Comment
  1. Perfect timing, as I’m beginning a neighborhood bible study this week. Thank you for the reminder to invest in people by asking simple questions to build relationships!

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