I don't have favourites though, and actually the first time I read about incisive questions it took me more than a few moments reflection to really 'get it', but I love it now.
So first the Nancy Kline explanation - 'removing assumptions that limit our ability to think for ourselves clearly and creatively' which to me essentially means removing those barriers that are clipping our wings when it comes to our finest thinking...capiche?! I'll bring it to life with an example I think touches most of us at some point in our lives...time management.
- First you take the limiting assumption, which in this case is 'I am a victim of time pressure'
- Next you turn it into a liberating alternative assumption like 'I have a choice about how I spend my time'
- Then comes the incisive question 'if you know you have a choice, how would you re-structure your time?'
The process can apply to absolutely anything though, and if there's a particular area of your life you're feeling limited in or frustrated because you can't move beyond where you are now this beauty might just help to liberate your thinking. Before you start the process, ask yourself these questions as a temperature check of where your thinking is at:
- what assumptions am I making that is limiting my thinking?
- is that assumption true?
- what's an alternative assumption I could make that would help my situation?
- with my new assumption in mind, how do I feel?
Just keep to the running order of limiting assumption > liberating alternative assumption > incisive question and it should work like a dream. If you're a first timer then I'd strongly recommend getting someone to do this with you, and let that person be someone who you know will challenge you - it's all too easy to remain in the pit of despair and staleness!
Happy questioning x