The number one question that resolves any challenge!

A small but powerful exercise can help whenever employees feel things are not going according to plan and nothing is working for them


Things can get challenging when trying to maintain a competitive business. The post-COVID era has brought more challenges, with companies worldwide trying to adjust their operations to new formats and adopt new skills and conformities.

At times we struggle to find the incentive to keep going. It’s easy to concentrate on what’s missing from our personal and professional lives. Those challenges can often introduce negativity in areas we didn’t previously feel insecure in. Misery, indeed, likes company.

How can we eliminate this negativity before it spreads in the office? You’ll be surprised to know that one specific ‘trick’ works magic to resolve any challenge. It’s truly a blessing to see that one can change one’s mindset by producing positive action from harmful conflicts.

There is a specific question I encourage all my clients to focus on each time they feel stressed about a professional or personal challenge in their lives. After all, coaching is all about asking powerful questions. Questions enable fruitful thinking and generate the desired outcome when the client feels passionate about change.

Whenever employees feels things are not going according to plan and nothing is working for them, ask them to use a small but powerful exercise. Ask them to write this quote: “What would have to happen in order to…” and encourage them to complete this phrase with whatever feels right to them at that moment. Nurture openness, so they don’t become shy or think twice. Support them to complete the sentence with what needs to be done for them to overcome the challenge.

They mustn’t concentrate on the challenge itself as an adverse event. Instead, they must choose to clarify and reflect on the desired outcome they want to invite in their professional life. This way, they will have the chance to face the challenge through a positive spectrum. This advantage is all they need to escape the stress of the situation quickly.

For instance, rather than writing: ‘I don’t want my company to impose pressure on me anymore’, they may pose the question: ‘What would have to happen in order to feel safe and appreciated by my company?’ Even if one doesn’t have a specialist executive coach to take employees through this process, an experienced HR head can deduce this information. Allow questions and answers to remain private if the employees so wish, but encourage them to submit them, even anonymously.

Why does this question work? It has a lot to do with human psychology and how we reflect on a challenge. By focusing on the positive feelings we want to embrace, we simultaneously abandon negativity and start overcoming resentment. This is a big deal for companies.

Resentment and bitterness tend to build as years go by. Eventually, these stored feelings can be significant enough to lead to a lack of motivation or resignation. By asking personnel to perform this simple, cost-free exercise, resentment can be diffused by showing that you care and value your people’s opinions. Additionally, you gain valuable insight into their views. Sometimes it’s not something pleasant to hear (or see written), but justified or not, they are entitled to their opinion and feelings.

This question aims to attend to the specific feelings and actions we want to experience rather than their lack. It invites us to train our brains to focus on what’s coming rather than what’s missing. Once we engage our brain muscles to step up the changing process, we elevate all efforts to succeed. No matter how often our Ego keeps undermining our self-trust and self-confidence by pointing out shortcomings and inabilities, we must enable intensive communication with our higher self that knows we can have it all. There is nothing that we can’t have once we’ve set out to get it.

If there is one thing standing in the way, it’s time and nothing else. From the time we answer the powerful question, ‘What would have to happen in order to…”, an avalanche of events is about to happen. We need to complete all the proper requirements and be straightforward about what needs to be done to align our wishes with our actions. ?mbracing the feelings that get us closer to happiness invites us to go deeper into our intimate thoughts and desires by launching a valuable self-discovery journey that involves every aspect of our lives.

“What would have to happen in order to…”, is the question your employees NEED to unlock the correct answer to, that will eventually get them to an advanced performance level!

Experience coaching for yourself to see how powerful questions could help transform lives

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organisation leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 40,000-plus members located in more than 145 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organisations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organisations, communities and the world through coaching.

In India, ICF is represented by six vibrant chapters, all led by volunteers — ICF

Bengaluru, ICF Chennai, ICF Delhi NCR, ICF Hyderabad, ICF Mumbai and ICF Pune.

The author, Jill Douka is an MBA and Master Certified Coach. She is a women’s business & leadership coach, a Master Certified Coach (MCC), and the only Greek bestselling author coach enlisted to the four per cent of coaches worldwide by International Coach Federation. She is an accredited mentor coach and awarded business mentor from the European Union. Douka is the director of studies at the Global Academy of Coaching, the only Academy of Coaching in Greece and Cyprus with an exclusive English-speaking and Greek-speaking online curriculum, certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She has collaborated with companies such as Microsoft, Piraeus Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Mondeliz, and Iberdrola.

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