In the last two blogs we talked about two of the most powerful questions you can ask to begin the process of transforming a relationship, a work environment or an enterprise. The first one, as you recall, is the seldom asked question – the most neglected of the them all, “What is RIGHT here; what are the key things here to celebrate?” That question, as we saw, helps build momentum and higher levels of engagement. It also says that you or the leadership of the organization can and does want to see what is going well – the top things to build upon and celebrate. The second question, as you may recall, is, “What is wrong here; what are the top one or two things that if addressed would make the biggest positive difference?” That question helps focus on the Pareto insight (the 80/20 rule) that if I focus on a few key things that may be wrong or off, I can make the most significant improvements. Now for the 3rd power question to help in your process of enterprise, personal or relationship transformation.
The 3rd great power question is, “What is the one thing MISSING here that if added or brought into the equation would make the single greatest contribution and improvement?” This is a critical question as it may not come up in the process of asking what is wrong and yet, what is missing may be the greatest opportunity for improvement. This question focuses attention on the issue of looking at what is present, then seeing and discussing what is missing from the equation, the picture, the process or the interactions. What could be “added” that would help to shift or significantly improve what we are doing or how we are doing it or how we are working together to get things done. It is an exceedingly powerful question and it is the second most neglected one, asked only slightly more often than “What is Right here?” Yet, when it is asked, perspectives open up and our mind and those of others tends to step back and gain a new perspective that is missed if we don’t ask, “What is missing?”
These three questions, together, begin a powerful process of transformation – they open up perspective, build energy, momentum, help focus on addressing the one or two top things that are wrong and also provide the even larger perspective of what we might add to what is being done, how we are doing it or how we are relating that can make significant changes and improvements.
Next: the 4th transformation process power question – Can you guess what it might be based on the first three?