"Ask the Question"
Your Success Thought for the Week of July 19, 2006

I was raised in a family where communication circled around but never went directly to the source. If my mother wanted to know something about my brother, she’d ask my sister; if she wanted to know something about my sister, she’d come to me, and so on. Judging from the frequency in which I see similar evasive communication in business, I assume that I was not the only one raised in this manner.


  • Philip believes an associate is interfering with his project to gain headway with the CEO. What should he do? What strategy will insure his ultimate success? "I'll get him", he says.
  • Tiffany is certain her previously steadfast client is now avoiding her. What did she do wrong? Why are they now turning on her?
  • Matthew believes he blew his big presentation. He is positive of it, and will shy away from the spotlight in the future to avoid such humiliation.

No one is sabotaging these three individuals except themselves. They jump to conclusions prior to having the facts, a dangerous undertaking in any relationship. Their solution is simple--change focus, get curious and ask the question. Sound simple?

  1. Change focus. All three have their eye on the ill-fated results of loss or embarrassment. What you think about is what you create. Each is unwittingly creating failure. However, if they respectfully change their focus to amazing those with whom they deal, then the results will change dramatically. Be aware of the facts but don’t let them adversely affect you.
  2. Get curious. Tiffany notices clients drifting away. Are they really avoiding her or has their focus changed? Perhaps family or health issues have taken center stage? Tiffany really doesn't know. What will this curiosity open up to her?
  3. Ask the question. Truly, the only way to know something for certain is to ask. Why do we shy away from going to the source? Could it be lingering childhood role models haunting us? Chances are high that if Matthew asks for feedback on his presentation, he’ll learn not only how to fine tune it, but he may learn of some pretty great aspects that he's overlooking; if Tiffany is more vulnerable with her client in stating that she misses them and asks about their absence, she'll create intimacy; and if Phillip asks his associate what he is up to, he'll put him on guard; all extremely valuable information that would not have been attained had each one not taken the time to ask.

Go directly to the source. This is never actually as difficult as it may initially seem. Additionally, asking the question saves time and energy; makes things much clearer and in the long run saves relationships. Even the most intuitive of us never knows where the other is coming from without an open discussion. And even then, watch for signs.

A method of listening in the coaching world is called ‘level three listening.’ This is listening with all of your senses—your eyes, ears, intuition, gut. Listen to what is really being said and what is not. This intense listening leads to intriguing questions which will result in greater understanding. Seek first to understand before being understood.

Be bold this week. Dare to ask the questions you’ve held back on. Have a wonderful week and enjoy your discoveries!


Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week for July 19, 2006" as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, 541.385.8887, 21775 Rickard Rd., Bend, Oregon 97701, www.GoldenVisionsSuccess.com

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