Ask this question the next time you want to say the phrase I don’t know. Did you say it? If not, what stopped you?

Transformation is a constant. Our lives change moment to moment, day to day. In those moments, we spend most of our time trying to be right and avoiding being wrong.

Personal or professional, recognizing how you react to uncertainty is the first step to being comfortable in that gray space between black and white. What happens to you? Do you shut down? Gossip? Stick to what you know? Criticize? Jump at a new opportunity?

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Ask this question when you see old friends and family. You know, people you have not seen in months.

Holidays mean lots of food and quite a few awkward conversations. Skip the chats about weather and work. Ask your friends and family about newly discovered passions or interests.

Suggested follow-up questions. What has changed? Were you interested in this when you were younger? What basic things should I know to understand it? Who else is interested in this? Could this become a career?

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A powerful image from this week’s #GoogleWalkout. Ask this question now and repeatedly. Are there privileges reserved for certain groups and how can you destroy those differences ?

Credit: @joehenke

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Ask this question when you need to push expectations within the guidelines of a project. A new product, writing a creative brief or hiring an agency partner. 

“When our designers work on a new style, I often ask to see two options: One that raises the bar—surprises, invigorates, inspires; a second version has only to be straightforward, to perfectly fulfill its intended purpose. Next, we’ll ask the question, does it have to be one or the other? Are there elements of both that will create an original, exceptional product that’s best in class?”

— Miles Johnson, Patagonia

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Ask this question when you need open feedback from customers or peers. The word advice creates the right setting for useful and helpful feedback.

There are a lot of ways to ask for help. You could use words like feedback or opinion. But there is something about the word advice that elicits a helpful and thoughtful response.

It tells the other person that what they have to say is valued and respected. The word advice also says we might act on this recommendation, so make it count.

Ask this question when doubt creeps into your head. Work or home, this question helps you focus on the positive possibilities.

I love this question. Recently, I find myself asking it more and more.

Start a difficult meeting with this prompt to set a positive tone. Remind your kids of this question when they are doubting themselves or their abilities. Ask yourself this question when you lose a job or are pushing for a goal.

Make a list, put it on a whiteboard, keep asking yourself this question.

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Ask this question — to yourself — regularly. At the end of a meeting, the day or week. In your notebook, make two columns — the decision you made goes on the left; the reasons why you made that decision on the right. Think of it as a self-awareness retrospective. 

Being a great leader and building great teams requires you to understand you. How do you come to conclusions, gather evidence and ultimately make a decision?

There are a lot of personality tests which can help identify your go-to traits, but you can learn just as much with 3 questions:

Do you value yourself or others more?
When you make a decision are you doing it because it is best for you or best for others?

Do you ask others or trust your gut?
Are you looking for opinions and then weighing that evidence? Or, do you trust yourself?

Do you evolve or dig in ?
Once you have made a decision — right or wrong — does that decision influence future decisions? Or do you dig in and try it again?

Try these questions with a non-work scenario. Think about the last time you (and someone else) picked a restaurant. How did you make that decision?

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Ask this question when you are starting a project with a new — and potentially unknown — team.

Everyone has a skill they are really good at. But, most people don’t know how to tell other people about that skill. Or even how to describe that skill.

The Superpowers card deck (or app) from SYPartners helps you discover what you do better than anybody else. Once you know your superpower, it’s easy to tell people what you’re good at and how you can help them.

The Superpowers deck is a tool I have used with several teams. It is revealing and easier to remember than Myers-Briggs.

You can read more about Superpowers here or order the card deck directly from SYPartners.