In business and in life asking the right question can make a world of difference. Have you ever had a friend, spouse, child, or employee come to you and tell you all the reasons why they can’t do something they want to do, can’t have something they want to have, or can’t achieve a goal they set out to achieve?
An interesting little exercise is to have them write their primary complaint at the top of a page, followed by the question “How Can I…?”
For example, let’s say your son comes to you complaining about how all of his friends have iPhones and he can’t have one because you won’t buy it for him. His page would look something like the following:
I can’t have an iPhone because Mom and Dad won’t buy it for me…
How can I have an iPhone?
- I can save my allowance until I have enough to buy one
- I can sell some of my video games that I seldom use
- I can get a part time job after school at a local retail store
- I can work on weekends mowing lawns around the neighborhood
- I can work on weekends washing cars for people in the neighborhood
You get the gist of it… There is always a way to get what we want if we’re willing to ask the right question. And notice that the right question is "how can I be, do or have..." and not "how can I make someone else be, do or have". Every time you think “I can’t”, rephrase it into “How can I?”. You’ll be amazed at the solutions that come to you.