I have come to value all truth as God’s truth.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to learn from one of the most powerful business books I have read in my career. The name of the book is “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life” by Marilee Adams. The book emphasizes the power of asking constructive questions when there is a tendency to react in a judgmental way when dealing with others.
Many outcomes in life have to do with the choices we make. And so it is with how we relate to others. We can make the decision to be judgmental about someone or their point of view when we disagree or we can ask questions of the person in order to become a learner about the other person’s point of view.
As I read the book, I begin to see God in this great work as He emphasizes the importance of not judging others but taking on a learner mindset. For when we take on a learner mindset, we position ourselves to love and embrace as we begin to see perspectives about the person’s point of view that we would not see if we remain in the judger mentality.
When you find yourself disagreeing or having trouble in a relationship whether a church member, a family member or friend, make the choice to ask yourself, “how else can I think about this?” Then begin to ask questions of the other person that helps you learn about the other person’s perspective. You will find yourself loving more and hating less. You will change your life because you position yourself to experience less stress and greater joy in relationships. Asking the right questions can in fact lead to better results in our lives.
• Examples of Judger Questions
— What’s wrong with me?
— What’s wrong with them?
— Whose fault is it?
• Results of Judger Questions
— Pessimism, negativity, and stress.
— Judgmental, reactive, critical, and inflexible mindset.
— Relating to others in a win-lose or defensive/aggressive way.
• Examples of Learner Questions
— What do I want? What are my goals?
— What can I learn?
— What are the facts? What am I assuming?
— What’s possible?
• Results of Learner Questions
— Optimism, hope, and possibilities
— Thoughtful, curious, creative, and flexible mindset
— Relating to others in a win-win, connected, and collaborative way
• Be a Learner not a Judger
— All examples and results of learner/judger are taken from the book.
Pastor Elijah Ray
The Rev. Elijah Ray is Pastor of Wyatt’s Chapel Baptist Church. This column is a summary of “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life” by Marilee Adams which he recently read.