When reading LIVE IN THE Q – The Axiom for Work and Life, you quickly learn that one’s very best self doesn’t happen without some key ingredients. To avoid spoiling the book, let me hint at one of them: people! It takes others to make your best come to life. And not just others the way you may currently be seeing them. It takes seeing others the right way. Without seeing them properly, ‘living in the Q’ simply doesn’t happen!
I encourage you to read my book FIRST. Find it on Amazon today, and enjoy flying through it. I truly recommend it to the entire world.
And THEN, use the questions in my follow-up blog post 30 Q Questions for Work & Home Part 2, to connect with others at work and home. There’s more science and research around them than you may ever guess.
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I was introduced to Connectors several years ago as a professional trainer in educational settings. I like to call them Q Questions, and described simply, they are conversation ‘cues’ (!) used as a way to start meetings, engage with small or large groups and bring hearts and minds together before other business, activities or training at hand. The results of using these Q Questions to create an environment for deeper trust, strengthened relationships, and improved emotional intelligence (EQ) is worth any exploration. The information I’m sharing comes from the PDF entitled Connectors for Results that Last, by Jennifer Davidson, 2004.
From the PDF:
“[Q Questions] are carefully designed activities that help groups work together more productively. [They] can be as short as a minute or more than an hour in length… Done thoughtfully, [Q Questions] are a tool for helping people build the strong, trusting relationships that are the foundation of healthy organizations.”
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Believe it or not, choosing just the right Q Question for just the right meeting or gathering could take some deeper intentionality than simply skimming down the list of questions in Part 2. For here and now, however, please understand that matching a question to the purpose or goals of your event gets you halfway there. Deciding on how much time to allocate for your Q Questions pulls you into the driveway. The last step to summarize, is deciding on ‘the level of intimacy’ (low, moderate or high) to be used for the people involved. Let’s talk details if you’d like, but for starters, enjoy these questions and then have fun creating some of your own! Living in the Q is meaningful, effective and fun – and Q Questions get us there in a snap!
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Examples of Q Questions at the Lowest Level of Intimacy:
- “Please share with the group your name, your job/role in the organization and what high school you attended.” (Added to that list – and possibly posted as a comforting reference for those that appreciate the prompts – could be questions like the following.)
- “In what city were you born?”
- “How many siblings do you have?”
- “In which month were you born?” (Avoid questions that may imply a value judgement, such as:)
o “What kind of car do you drive?
o “In what town or suburb do you live?”
o “How many rooms are in your house?”
Examples of Q Questions at the Moderate Level of Intimacy: (Giving people a choice.)
- “Name a favorite movie, recent or classic, and explain why it’s at the top list.”
- “Knowing that you’re really delighted to be here in this meeting today, if you could be anywhere else on the globe right now, where would you be?”
- “Tell the group about a memorable car in your life.”
- “If you could spend several hours with anyone, living or dead, whom would you choose?”
- “Think of something you’ve done in the past month that helped us move toward our vision (or goals.”
Examples of Q Questions at the High Level of Intimacy:
- “Think of a time you’ve failed. Tell the story and what you learned from the experience.”
- “Think of a person with whom you struggled in the past. Without mentioning the person by name, talk about what choices you made to improve the relationship.”
- “At what point in your life did you stop focusing so much on yourself and start focusing on others?”
- “Think of a time when communication with your colleague could easily have broken down, but didn’t. What saved it?”
And now for the 30 Q Questions at Part 2! Most were provided by Lil Hosman from Portland, Oregon, used in the earlier referenced PDF Connectors First for Results that Last. See you on the next blog!