How often do you find yourself talking with family or friends and someone raises a question like: “I wonder where that saying originated?” or “What’s the average temperature of Seattle in February?” And before you know it, someone has “Googled” the question and immediately has an answer.

David, especially, is prone to searching for answers to all kinds of questions.

You might say we live in a time of the Golden Age of Questioning.  Many of our questions have become so predictable that Google engineers and their algorithms can guess what we’re asking after typing just a few words into the query.

You may be asking zillions of questions and having bits of information at your fingertips, but are you asking the powerful questions of yourself that will guide you to positive breakthroughs?

When you are stuck in the reactive cycle of the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™, most likely the questions you ask are designed to keep the Drama cycle going.  For example, if you are mired in the Victim role, in response to a difficult situation you may ask yourself:

  • Why did this happen to me?
  • Why do I have all the bad luck?
  • Why don’t I get what other people get?

The Creator, which anchors TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)and is the antidote to the Victim role, asks very different questionsA Creator’s questions are intended to explore new opportunities and ways of seeing.  A Creator may ask:

  • Given the situation, how might I make the most of it?
  • What is mine to do here?
  • What do I really want, given the situation?

The Persecutor in the DDT has a strong need to control and be right.  In any situation, they may ask:

  • Who is to blame for this?
  • I know I am right about this. Why don’t they listen to me?
  • How can I manipulate and get ahead in this situation?

A Challenger in TED* is the antidote to the Persecutor and lets go of the need to be right.  Instead, the Challenger focuses on growth and learning, even in the face of very difficult situations.  A Challenger may ask:

  • What is the surprise learning in this set-back?
  • What is true, given the situation?
  • Where can I stay consistent with my values and still move forward?

Rescuers in the DDT love jumping in and saving the day, even when not asked.  A Rescuer may inquire:

  • How can I take your pain away?
  • If I could do more, what else could I do?
  • How can I fix this for you?

In TED*, Coaches partner with another person by asking better questions that create clarity, always leaving the power and responsibility with the other person.   Rather than doing for the other person what they can do for themselves, the Coach may ask:

  • What might be the opportunity in the change you are facing?
  • How might you make the most of the situation?
  • What is it that you really care about?

The TED* “better questions” are built upon becoming interested in—-and curious about—-what you don’t know, rather than what you do know.  These are not questions you can type or speak into a search engine and expect an immediate answer.

The results you get are only as good as the questions you ask.  By embracing the TED* roles you can access more powerful questions in any moment.