Have you ever felt stuck? You may feel trapped in a situation, in a job, or in a relationship. There is also a strong possibility that you are stuck in a mindset.
You can’t see it, but the way you look at things is impacting you in a negative way. The most important is the automatic questions you ask yourself that shape your behavior and perspective.
Without realizing it, we become critical. We judge others and we judge circumstances. Very often, we judge ourselves. A giant step in detaching yourself from relationships is doing the work and acknowledging this critical mindset. That’s where a choice map comes in handy.
What is an option map?
Whether it’s literal or just something you visualize, a choice map helps you identify the different paths available to you. At every step, you have options. Choosing the best available option requires you to ask the best available questions. Of course, it’s normal to search for answers, but that process begins with thoughtfully asking the most useful and productive questions.
Your choice map helps you discover new questions in the name of making new decisions. In turn, this combination of new questions and new options adds up to create new possibilities. Renowned author and trainer, Marilee G. Adams, calls this the “inquisitive mindset.” It’s at the other end of the spectrum from the aforementioned judge mentality.
The Judge’s Mentality
This is a place of pessimism. Almost without knowing it, he falls into a negative viewpoint: ready to fail and ready to blame. When someone with a judge’s mindset comes to a crossroads, he asks judge questions like:
- What’s wrong with me?
- What’s wrong with them?
- Whose fault is it?
- How can I prove that I’m right?
- Why are they so clueless and frustrating?
- Haven’t we been there, done that?
- Why bother?
To counter this all-too-common mentality, Adams reminds us that there is:
- no progress without change
- there is no change without learning
- there is no learning without questions
- no questions no curiosity
- no curiosity or questions no active inquiry mindset
The inquisitive mindset
The following are just a few of the traits identified by Marilee G. Adams that someone with an inquisitive mindset displays. Such a person knows that:
- The most productive questions still have no answers
- Such questions draw value from their power rather than from their possible answers.
- If you are looking for quality results, you must discover quality questions
- Patience is crucial because without it, you can miss key questions
- Missing questions can be a source of chaos and frustration
- To check your own assumptions and biases, you need to keep finding questions to ask yourself.
- Maintaining an active inquiring mindset fuels better relationships and results
“Questions,” says Adams, “shape how we think, feel, act, and relate.”
How can a choice map help change your life?
Imagine yourself at a fork in the road. By forking, you could literally have multiple paths/spikes. How do you know which way to go? Your decision is mainly determined by your way of thinking. A choice map places you at such a crossroads. First, ask the judge the questions listed above. See how it feels.
After a deep breath, switch to the questioning mindset. Replace the judge’s questions with new queries like It works? What am I responsible for? What are my options? What’s so useful about this? What can I learn? What is the other person thinking, feeling and needing? What is posible?
Once again, see how this feels. It won’t take long to identify which mindset makes you feel capable, positive, and resourceful. This fundamental exercise is the first step towards change. To learn more and get on this life path forever, let’s connect soon and talk about transitions and possibilities.
For quick review, a choice map helps you identify the different paths available to you.
Choosing the best available option requires that ask the best questions available. While it’s perfectly natural to seek answers first, choosing wisely and correctly for you is a process that begins with asking the right questions.
Essentially, your choice map helps you discover new questions in the name of making new decisions. In turn, this combination of new questions and new options adds up to create new possibilities. Renowned author and trainer, Marilee G. Adams, calls this the “inquisitive mindset.” It’s at the other end of the spectrum from the judge’s mindset.
These Key Option Map Questions Can Change Your Life
Below are the questions asked by experts from the Inquiry Institute, an organization founded by the aforementioned Marilee Adams. You can of course adapt them to your particular needs, but the idea is to stick to your general purpose.
The key questions of the election map are:
- What do I want?
- What are my options?
- What assumptions am I making?
- What am I responsible for?
- How else can I think of this?
- What is the other person thinking, feeling, needing and wanting?
- What am I missing or avoiding?
- What can I learn… from this person or situation? …of this error or failure? …of this success?
- Which action steps make the most sense?
- What questions should I ask (of myself or others?)
- How can I turn this into a win-win?
- What is posible?
Surely you can discern the positive point of view that is made possible by this line of questioning. It’s not an attempt to blush your decision-making, but it diligently evades the perception of self-sabotage. The expectation is that you already have so many answers within yourself. Discovering this innate power requires identification and asking new and curious questions.
How these questions derive their power
The goal of the choice map is to find ways to introduce learning style questions into your everyday thinking. As mentioned above, you can easily modify the wording to address a specific situation. Regardless of the details, these questions have the power to:
- Open your mind
- change your perspective
- alter your mindset
- It introduces new options and possibilities in your life.
Avoid looking only for what can go wrong. Allow yourself to imagine all the things that can go smoothly. When you are not judging, you have the opportunity to learn without immediately putting up obstacles.
You have two eyes and two ears. You have a mouth. It stands to reason that you spend much more time observing than pontificating. That sentiment may be a bit of a cliché, but there’s a reason it’s stuck around: It’s accurate.
Key questions in a group setting
The inquisitive mindset is incredibly valuable in a group setting. This can mean work, school, or any form of collaboration. Using the fundamental choice map questions above can help you:
- Increase overall productivity
- Promote teamwork
- Inspire new ideas and innovation
- Improve communication skills
- See beyond deep-seated mental blocks
- Empower you to both address current issues and envision future outcomes
Where and how can you get more information and get started?
Everyone wants to have better relationships and develop more productivity in their lives. At the same time, it makes sense to be skeptical of approaches that promise results. The choice map/inquisitive mindset concept is not a trend, but a mindset that will continue to serve you. I urge you to delve into this idea. In fact, we’d love to take a closer look at what it has to offer. Read more about how to make decisions and transitions.
Ask yourself: what do I want? Follow up with: which action steps make the most sense? For now, why not get in touch to schedule a consultation soon?