When you embark on your passion project path you find yourself having to pick up many new skills and experiences. One constant is that you find yourself asking a lot of questions. Asking questions is the brilliance of our humanity. It gives the world in front of us pathways to possibility within a seemingly random world.
The act of questioning is a skill, and like skills can be lost without use. Good news is you can also build mastery in this skill. What you find is a well-crafted question will yield more meaningful results.
For Ask April, get comfortable with our ask. Here’s a method to do it:
- Ask away: Give yourself time and space to ask without limits. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and ask your self for and about anything. Grow on your requests or ideas to make them wow you. Bring in details and paint a picture or a story around your asks. If you ask another question allow yourself to move with the questions and then build on that.This practice is a bit of an asking brainstorm that encourages you and stimulate creativity in your questions.
- Focus your ask: Now that your question creativity is flowing it’s time to put your skill to good use. Consider a specific question you are facing in your life.
What is the challenge you want to overcome or bring to fruition?
For instance, you could be passionate about educational programs in your community. You want to build a local environment where everyone feels empowered to prosper. You work with a nonprofit that organizes itself around that mission. Now you find yourself having to ask many questions. Now it’s time for your annual fundraising event and you’ve been charged with getting the community you serve to care.
When making the ask to have people commit to the organization’s success you should focus your question in three ways:
- Know the who: There may be many people involved with your question or there may only be a few. Take note of who they might be and why they might care.
- Know the why: What is your connection to this? What makes you feel good about the efforts in place and what do you hope is the ultimate accomplishment?
- Know how: When you are engaged in conversation with your person, know how they can take the next step. Give them the action that brings them closer to the move you hope they’ll take: making a commitment in this case.
- Cut in clarity: If you’ve been taking notes throughout this process, you should have 3-5 minutes of free writing and around half a page of planning. Of course, you could and should extend your research, but the last move before taking action would be to bring clarity to your ask.
Write your question in one concise, yet encompassing question. You may not always use this question exactly, but you will bring clarity to what your communicating should the opportunity ever arise.
*Bonus* To grow even more comfortable with the ASK think of little stories that elaborate what you’re saying.
What do you think about the importance of asking questions? Let me know below!