“When you speak to me about your deepest questions, you do not want to be fixed or saved; you want to be seen and heard, to have your truth acknowledged and answered.” Parker J. Palmer from “A hidden wholeness”. Courage and Renewal
“Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them now. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, you will then gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke
The heart of coaching is listening and letting the questions draw forth new insights that were never or rarely articulated before.
Have you taken the time to stand in a quiet space just to listen? Listen to the world outside you? Listen to the world inside you? What stories are being told?
Stand outside in a quiet place and observe nature. Listen to the sounds of the environment. What stories are being told?
Listen to your heart. Listen again. Are you finding what you want or need there? Listen closely to the beating drum. What rhythms are being sounded?
What does it take to touch the truth? What does it take for the truth to touch you?
There are four domains of knowledge.
1. I know what I know. – I know it.
2. I know that I don’t know. – Things that I want to learn.
3. I don’t know that I know. – Things that I know but seem to have forgotten.
4. I don’t know that I don’ t know. – I don’t know I didn’t know – what is the question?
These are the paradigms of my world, those four pieces of knowledge.
What makes this particularly difficult is that I don’t know what I don’t know. There are questions that I don’t even know to ask. There are places where I am blind and lack knowledge.
“Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like men without eyes.”
We group along the wall because we don’t know what to ask.
Do you have any blind spots?
Here is where coaching can help. Coaching is engaging in authentic dialog with another to help discover and uncover those areas of blindness and working with the person to find a path to more knowledge about themselves, the world, and their part in the story.
Often we can’t discover what we don’t know because we don’t know the questions to ask to help us reveal the answer. Discovery isn’t always easy. Discovery though can be infinitely valuable. Discovery is a path to freedom.
Which quadrant is the biggest?
What do you want to know? Do you seek the answers to the questions you don’ t know to ask?
Have you ever thought about the questions you ask yourself? What is that little voice in your head saying? Is it asking questions for growth and learning or are the questions about judging?
Here are some examples of questions that are designed to help you grow.
– What do I want?
– What are the facts?
– What assumptions am I making?
– What can I learn?
– What are my choices?
– What is best to do know?
Or there are questions that cause you to sink back and wonder.
– Why can’t I ever win?
– Why do things seem dumb and irritating?
– Whose fault is it?
– What is wrong with me?
Notice the power of the forward looking questions vs. the questions that pull you down.
The choices we make can be for the good. Good questions help us arrive at good destinations. Look for win-win situations, make connections with others, and look for the facts in every situation.
Good questions can help result in good outcomes. What are those questions?