Questions Can Improve Goal Attainment

I’ve long been enamored with the power of questions.  Asking the right questions enables you to carry on conversations at dinner parties, gets you to the root of problems and ensures that you are always operating in the right mind set.  However, until recently, I never realized how powerful questions could be in goal attainment.  According to research conducted by Professor Ibrahim Senay of University of Illinois, people are much more likely to achieve goals that are phrased as questions.

We’ve all been taught that to achieve great things, we must establish goals.  Those goals are typically stated as a declarative statement of “I will”.  Senay has demonstrated that changing the words to the interrogative phrase “Will I” may have significant positive impact on achieving goals.

  • “I will complete performance reviews by April 30th” gets changed to “Will I complete performance reviews by April 30th?”
  • “I will complete the rollout of this training by year end” gets changed to “Will I complete the rollout of this training by year end?”
  • “I will work out three times this week” gets changed to “Will I work out three times this week?”

One can produce feelings of guilt, fear and failure whereas the other can produce feelings of empowerment, accomplishment and success. Read this article from Scientific American or go to Senay’s research report  to learn more.

Try changing how you are setting your personal goals.  You may be surprised by the results – I sure was.

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