In this episode we’re flipping the script. Guest Will Wise is an expert at using questions to create connections. Today, he will be interviewing Amy Climer and demonstrating how to ask powerful questions. You’ll learn how to ask better questions through an exciting live Q&A session.
What You’ll Learn
- How to ask more powerful questions and create deeper connections with others
- How to build trust in your team
- One simple thing your team can do to be more creative today.
- The vision that drives Amy’s focus on creativity – you are a part of it!
About Will Wise
Will Wise has over two decades of experience custom building leadership programs for corporate and nonprofit groups. He has earned a reputation as one who can transform groups and people into their best selves. Tens of thousands of people have been empowered with positive communication skills after spending some time with Will and We!™ Most recently, Will has also added author to his list of accomplishments with the release of his new book, Asking Powerful Questions.
Will lives in State College, PA with his amazing wife, Heather, and their three children.
- Will Wise’s website
- Will’s new book, Ask Powerful Questions
- Link to free ebook (through Oct 21, 2017) and other free resources (after Oct 21)
- Episode with Chad Littlefield about How to Ask Questions
- The Artist’s Way
- Episodes 03 through 08: The Creative Problem Solving process
Be aware of what you are curious about and ask questions about it. Ask questions beginning with a “how” or a “what”, not a “why.” Take the risk and then listen to see what shows up.
Feel like reading instead of listening? Download the free transcript or read it below. Enjoy!
Transcript for Episode #079: Asking Powerful Questions with Will Wise
Amy Climer: Welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast Episode 79. Today’s episode is about building trust in teams and asking powerful questions as a tool to build trust with teams, people, and organizations. Today’s guest is Will Wise. Will has a brand new book out, just came out this week, called Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter. Today, Will and I are going to flip the script a bit and I am going to hand the lead mic over to Will for him to interview me a bit and kind of a show-off how he asks powerful questions.
To start off, I will give Will a chance to share a bit more about who he is and talk a bit about his new book and then we are going to flip that around. I think you will see he really puts a lot of thought into the questions he is asking and it causes me to think too quite a bit. I definitely had fun with the interview and I hope you enjoy it. I hope you learn something new about building trust in teams and asking powerful questions. All right, here is Will Wise.
Will, welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast. Thanks for being on the show.
Will Wise: So exciting to be here. Thank you so much, Amy.
Amy Climer: Can you start off and tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Will Wise: It is interesting to hear starting with “are” and “do” because one of the things that I do is focus on who we are being, not necessarily what we are doing. So much of the world focuses on this idea of what we do and our identity wrapped up with that. And yet, what happens when we focus on who we are being, we can start having access to how we want to create and build the world around us.
If I focus on my doing, I work for a company that I have co-founded with my partner Chad called We! or https://weand.me/. We go into organizations because they usually have called us because a lack of trust is getting in the way of them doing what they really want to do. Some way or another a lack of trust has shown up and they are hitting their heads up against the wall about what to do about that.
How to Build Trust in Your Team [03:02]
Amy Climer: Can you give a little insight into how do you help develop trust within teams and organizations? I know that is like a huge question.
Will Wise: Yeah, that is a great question. The place that we start with is connection. If you can get people talking to each other about things that matter most for them, the consequence of that is a sense of belonging shows up. And once belonging shows up, then people can decide whether or not they want to trust. Trust, for most people, is actually a choice. It is not something that spontaneously happens with the person that you are sitting next to on a random flight to somewhere. Although it can happen there. But in our workplaces and our families and communities in which we want to thrive and prosper, we have to make some choices around connection and belonging and trust. We help organizations be really intentional about that and create systems and ways of interacting with each other in which things are still getting done, actually getting done more intentionally, but there is a start with a focus of connection.
Amy Climer: I love that example about the airplane. You are sitting on an airplane next to somebody and that choice of trust and that just made me think about oh my gosh! There are so many times where the way I am being when I walk onto a plane impacts the kind of experience I have with my seatmate. Am I just like, “Oh, I am tired. I do not want to engage,” and I just put on my headphones or do I show up with a sense of openness and then end up having this great conversation? There have been people I have met on airplanes that I have been in touch with for five years because we just had this great conversation.
Will Wise: Isn’t that crazy?
Amy Climer: Yeah, it is so funny. And then, of course, there are others that that does not happen, but I think that decision about trust is a really good point.
Will Wise: One of the examples we often use in our work is, is it possible that you go to a restaurant and you sit down and the server comes to the table and they not care about you? And you know that they do not care about you, even though they did not say it. And they have all the doing right. They know the specials, they know how to put it in the machine, they know how to show up on time to fill up your water, and yet if they do not care, that being shows up in your relationship.
Now that you have mentioned your co-passengers on a airplane, I can remember somebody who served me at the restaurant at the top of the mountain who we stayed connected with for years afterwards because he just showed up in a very caring way and I am like who are you and can I hire you?
Amy Climer: Yeah, right? That is awesome! I love that. You just published a brand new book called Ask Powerful Questions and I know the book is very much about what we are talking about. Give us a bit of an overview. What is the book about?
Will Wise: The book is called Ask Powerful Questions. I think if I was to create the shortest book, the title would be Ask and the first page would say Ask, period, and then it would just be done.
Amy Climer: Nice.
Will Wise: This is a little bit more complicated than that; Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter. The birthplace of this came from some of the work that I have been doing at the university where I have been training facilitators to walk into a room full of strangers and talk about things that nobody wants to talk about. Race and gender, long term conflict, climate change, with no agenda, let’s just talk about it. And then if we are really honest, there is a slight agenda and that is you hope the conversation continues. And so training hundreds of facilitators over the years, maybe even thousands to do that and them impacting up to 8,000 people every year and having conversations that matter. And then started also training facilitators to walk into workplaces and prisons and different places to have those conversations that matter.
When I first started on this journey, there was a lack of materials available to do it really in an authentic way. There is lots out there about trying to manipulate things or to sell things or to bribe, even, but to do it in a really authentic way where manipulation is not part of the dynamic, I could not find. And so I started creating that with a team of people and over the years, it has gotten tweaked and polished. Students were saying, “Can I read your book?” And I am like, “I haven’t done a book.” Really, I am a hermit. I would rather just kind of hide, but there is really this curiosity deficit out there and there is a lack of really meaningful conversations.
Look around, can you think of times in your life in which a meaningful conversation could have prevented a whole catastrophe of ugliness that shows up? Often times, people share with me, “I don’t know how to do that. If I bring that up and he says this, how am I going to respond to that?” And so to give people kind of a holistic set of tools. Sometimes people pick up my book and say, “Okay, I want question number 37,” but question number 37 is not in there. This is not a list of questions, but a way to create questions authentically from within yourself that mean something in that moment for the person who is receiving it.
Amy Climer: Almost like really how to create questions that matter, have conversations that matter.
Will Wise: Right.
Amy Climer: That is awesome. One of the things you and I have talked about, Will, is in this podcast episode kind of flipping the script a little bit and since it is all about asking questions, to give you a chance to be the question asker and the interviewer. I am going to turn it over to you for a few minutes and let you do what you want to do.
Will Wise: It is funny because I am an experiential educator. I want to create an experience and you have totally put me on the experiential side of this. This is great. Thank you. One question that if I was really following my curiosity, there is a way that creativity is the center of your wheelhouse. What is your intention?
The Vision That Drives Amy’s Focus on Creativity [09:44]
Amy Climer: I think that we all, just as human beings, we naturally have this incredible creative capacity, yet, I do not think most of us tap into that fully. I also think that we, as humans, have the ability to solve every problem on this planet, particularly the ones we have created, which is most to them, maybe all of them, I do not know. I just imagine what would the world be like if everyone could live up to their full creative potential. I just think that would be incredible. I think a lot of the challenge is that people do not fully understand creativity and how it works and so then that makes it difficult to be intentional about it. That is kind of my purpose, is to help individuals, teams, organizations to intentionally be creative with the intent to do good in the world.
Will Wise: This is interesting because what I am hearing you say — and this is totally a translation so let me know if my assumptions are wrong — that you are seeing or experiencing people showing up to work in a particular way that was leaving their creativity behind. And you can see the potential if they could tap into the whole being and allow creativity to be maybe in the foreground or at least standing next to them that workplaces would be different.
Amy Climer: Absolutely.
Will Wise: So then Amy is standing out in the world and you have owned this word “creativity.” What do you see when you look at?
Amy Climer: What do you mean?
Will Wise: How does the world occur for you, right now, when you have owned this word creativity?
Amy Climer: I guess a couple of things come to mind. One is I think maybe I notice and appreciate the creativity that I do see, even if it might be small in somebody. Often, not always, but sometimes I might notice some creativity that that person does not see, like I notice this in them. I guess I should say, when I am talking about creativity I am not talking about artistic talent or your ability to draw. Those are great, but what I am talking about is your ability to solve problems creatively. I think sometimes maybe it is just even that definition shift that is critical to help people understand their own creativity.
Anyway, I guess I see people often are more creative than they realize. And I have also seen people make that shift from not realizing they are creative to starting to see that in themselves and then tap into it more and really cool things happen.
Will Wise: That is interesting. Let’s go back in time then. Creativity might have been part of your life for who knows how long? You can tell us if you like. But there was a moment in which you decided to own it in relationship to your practice. What was occurring for you then in the world around you that made you go, “Okay, I’m owning creativity?”
Amy Climer: I will be honest, I do not know if it was one moment. I think it was a series of experiences or moments that kind of built upon each other.
Will Wise: Share some of those. Maybe it is a long six months or a five-year moment.
Amy Climer: Yeah, more like five years. I guess I should say first of all, I love learning. Like that is how I am hard-wired, and I know not everyone is. When I graduated college — I have an undergrad degree in biology from University of North Carolina at Charlotte — I moved a lot right after college and I ended up in Portland, Oregon. I was so excited to live there because I could now take the classes I wanted to take rather than the ones I was required to take for school, which might speak to maybe it was not the best major, best fit for me. Anyway, I found this class at a local community college called The Artist’s Way which followed the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I see you nodding your head. Are you familiar with the book?
Will Wise: Yes.
Amy Climer: This was in 1999. At that point, the book was like three years old. But it totally shifted the way I saw creativity and I realized that there was a part of me that really wanted to do something creative for a living and that I had gotten a lot of really mixed messages about that growing up. On one hand, like really encouraging in one way, and then on the other hand, “Oh, you can never make a good living if you’re doing something creative like art,” or whatever. And so starting to kind of filter through those and figure out what does this mean for me now? Like now what do I do?
First forward a couple of years later, I was working at a university, probably similar to what you are doing in the world of student affairs. And one day we had the staff meeting, there was about 15 of us, and someone in the meeting said, “Hey y’all, I have this issue. I am wondering, can we just take a few minutes and brainstorm on this issue?” I am like, “Oh yeah!” You say the word brainstorm and I am excited. I sit up. I am like, “Yup, let’s go.” People start sharing some ideas and about the fourth idea, this guy — I will call him Phil, that is not his real name — but Phil says, “Oh no. We can’t do that. We did that in 1985 and it was a complete disaster.” And I started laughing, I thought he was kidding, but he was not. He gave me a look. He was dead serious. You know what happened, the whole brainstorming process just ended.
That in itself was interesting. But then what was more interesting was about, I do not know, several months later, maybe a year later, Phil invited us over to his house for like a employee potluck, whatever. We are hanging out at his house, his wife is there, his ten-year old kid and I see this completely different side of him. He is relaxed, he is creative, I find out he is into music, he does community theater and I am like, “Wait a minute!” And this is the same guy that was shooting down some random idea because they did it 15, 20 years earlier. That was just like another one of those moments where like this has got to change. Like what happened? Why does this guy when he walks into this building, he just leaves his creativity at the door and leaves that openness at the door?
It took several years after that before I actually got to where I was doing this professionally full time, but after that I started leading these workshops and just kind of exploring things and just kind of playing with how do you teach creativity and can you teach it and how do you help people be more open? Those are a few of the experiences that led me to where I am at.
Will Wise: It is interesting. If I got it right, at one point in time you were like okay, here is somebody not fully showing up when if he would have fully showed up, the outcome of that brainstorming session could have been very different. And now you are standing in a world where you are seeing lots of little bits of creativity show up. I think, if I got it right, even when they do not see themselves being creative, you are seeing it. Is that right?
Amy Climer: Yeah. One of the things that I teach is I teach people a process to help them be more creative. There is like a natural process that we follow, but I do not know, I always make this analogy that creativity is part of our DNA. Like we are born with this ability to be creative, but it is not like breathing. No one teaches us how to breathe. That would be really weird. But if we want to be creative, we have to actually learn how and understand how it works. Some people figure that out intuitively. Like people that have been just solving problems or making art or whatever it was since they were little kids, they figure that out through trial and error and other people have not. But once you understand it, it is like oh, okay, I can do this. This seems pretty — I do not want to say easy, but it is simple and it fits with us. I hate to say the word “normal” but it is. It is like this is just who we are. We can do this.
Will Wise: It sounds like you are taking a social risk for people to bring their creativity at work. As the example you shared earlier, he was being creative but he did not have permission to have it at work.
Amy Climer: Yeah, that is a good point.
Will Wise: So you walk in and you are like, “Okay, folks, hidden in your backpacks, where is that creativity that you stashed? Go ahead and pull that out and let’s play.”
Amy Climer: Yeah, exactly. I think that really ties into the work that you and Chad do around building trust. Because there has to be at least a moderate level of trust within a team or within an organization in order for someone to take that risk and share their creativity at work.
Will Wise: Yeah. What does it look like when Amy shows up in the room and I assume makes a decision — you probably do not make a decision because it probably shows up with you. You show up with the idea that creativity is everywhere and Phil or Bob or Suzie really analytic, likes to solve problems but uses lots of systems to do that. How do you create a safe enough place for them to take a risk and share something that they do not know if it is quite right yet?
How to Create a Safe Place for Teams to Take Risks and Share Ideas [20:11]
Amy Climer: There are a few different tools that I use. Actually, just two weeks ago, I was working with a group that really fit that description to a tee. It was kind of this collaboration or conglomeration of people across the U.S. who were trying to improve aviation security, so TSA agents, Department of Homeland Security, the CFO of a couple of different airports, people like that, a lot of engineers, a lot of kind of analytical, financial, sciencey kind of people. There are a couple of things that I did with that group that I do quite frequently. One is I talk about this concept of “Yes, and”, which I borrowed from the world of theatre improv. You are probably familiar with it.
Will Wise: Yup.
Amy Climer: This idea that somebody shares something and while our initial reaction might be like Phil, that example I shared, “Oh no, that’s not going to work because blah, blah, blah,” instead to just hang on and instead say, “Yes, and tell me more,” or, “yes, and in addition we could also do this,” and building on that idea even just for a minute. I think sometimes what happens when people are trying to be creative and brainstorm is that they get worried that a bad idea is going to be implemented. That example earlier, that was Phil’s concern. He was afraid that this idea that he thought was terrible was going to get implemented. I teach teams how to separate the evaluation and just kind of hold on and we will do the evaluation later. Just suspend that judgment a little bit. That is one of the tools and “Yes, and” is a way to do that.
Then, I give them brainstorming rules. There are four rules that I use that if you want to be creative together, these are the rules to follow while we are brainstorming. One of those is to suspend judgment. You will get to judge it, just not yet. Often when people know like there is this separation, you could just almost see this anxiety kind of release. Like oh okay, we can kind of get a little wild and crazy about ideas for a little bit and then I will get to evaluate them.
Will Wise: Here is a curiosity that is showing up for me. You are somebody who is thinking about creativity deeply. And I bet in the last week, maybe six months, there is an idea around creativity that you are kicking around. It is like on this edge of something that you do not quite fully have thought out, you are still playing with it, you are testing it. Would you like to share?
Amy Climer: Sure. First, you are absolutely right. There is this idea that I have been exploring and starting to read more and just think on, and that is the connection between creativity and ego. And thinking of ego in two ways; one is, I think, the way most of us think of it is like oh, that person is so egotistical and they always think they are right and they have got a big head, blah, blah, blah, and that definitely can get in the way of creativity.
But I think there is this other side of ego that like the ultimate purpose of ego, the way I understand it, is that to protect us. And so another way ego might show up is actually by telling us we are not good enough to do something or we cannot do something because if we take a risk, that is a risk and the ego wants to protect us. Basically, the ego is about maintaining our status quo. Just keep things as they are because it is working fine. Even if it is really not working fine, the ego will tell us that it is.
Will Wise: You are still alive so it is safe.
Amy Climer: Safe enough, right? Maybe I am venturing in an area I know very little about, but thinking about people who are in like domestic violence situations, a wife who is being beaten by their husbands or something. And they continue to stay there for a number of reasons, but one of which might be they cannot even imagine what it would be like or how they would move on. There is a safety in knowing what to expect. It may not be physical safety or emotional safety, there is this prediction like I know what is going to happen and there is some comfort in that, as weird as that may sound. That is a really extreme example, but I think this happens on a regular basis to everybody or most people, anyway. I kind of have been playing with that, like what role does ego play in preventing us from being creative?
Will Wise: Lovely. Maybe one last question?
Amy Climer: Yeah, that is perfect.
One Simple Thing Your Team can do to be More Creative Today [25:18]
Will Wise: We kind of touched on it, but it definitely brought up another piece of curiosity for me. Say you are going to work with a tech group — let’s just get stereotypical here — whose job it is to be really analytical and find the problems and create tech solutions for them. Let’s say they only listen to this podcast, they do not even get to have you in the room. What is one thing that they could do that would encourage creativity to be a little bit more common than it currently is?
Amy Climer: Well, listen to the podcast, that is a good step. I do not know what episode this is, 79, but there is a ton of knowledge in here. But I think one of the things is like the very beginning when I first started the podcast, Episode 03 through 08 build on each other and they basically teach teams and organizations how to be creative. And they walk through something called the Creative Problem Solving process, which is a process that I teach and it is really powerful if it is used. I think listening to that and following that process. There is this whole workbook that I have that people can download.
But one of the things is — this may sound repetitive because I said that a little bit already, but when you are thinking about brainstorming, you are engaging in something called Divergent Thinking, where we are thinking big and we are just like yeah, let’s just imagine the possibilities, even as extreme as they may be. And then when we evaluate our ideas, we are using convergent thinking. Convergent thinking is about analyzing, evaluating, and at least in the U.S., we are trained to be convergent thinkers. From the time you first take a test in elementary school that says there is one right answer, that is convergent thinking. But we are not trained to think divergently.
And so I think one of the things a team can just do right away is separating out those processes because we cannot do both those types of thinking at the same time. Tell everyone on the team we are going to do some divergent thinking now, make sure everyone knows what that means, and then start generating some ideas. Do not get into the convergent thinking yet until you have a dozen, 50, 150 ideas. It kind of depends on the scale of the problem and how much time you have, but you want a lot of ideas. Five ideas is not really brainstorming or divergent thinking. Go big and then start evaluating the ideas.
What happens is that when we are coming up with ideas, the first third of the ideas are really typical. Let’s say our issue is some marketing challenge. Inevitably, something is going to come up about social media. That may be a great idea, but it is not very creative. Take that further and by the time you get to the third third of the ideas, the last third, that is where things start getting really interesting. But you cannot get there until you go through all the stuff that is at the top of your mind. I guess that would be the thing, is separating out divergent and convergent thinking and keep going. Get to that last third of the ideas and really push yourselves to get a little wild.
Will Wise: Here is what I am hearing in what you are saying. I am also combining this with an idea I am kicking around. Most of us, especially in that particular kind of organization, they are really good at solving problems. That is their job, to solve the problem. Problem shows up, fix it. What occurred to me, an image while you were talking was a roof of a building or a house, let’s say, and there is a leak and somebody runs up with whatever shingle they have available, say it is a red one and they patch that leak. Another problem shows up and whatever shingle they have, there is an orange one and a blue one and suddenly the roof is colored with all these different patches because we are really good at solving the problem.
What we might not be so good at is problem finding. So problem solving and problem finding. And I think what you are saying is if you continue to push and go deeper and deeper and deeper, there is a way that you can find the underlying thing, whatever that thing is, and be really creative about in that space to create a roof that will function without having to continue to patch it. And as long as you are continuing to patch it, and if you get halfway down your process and you start patching, you did not still get deep enough to actually get to wherever the underlying, problem finding, the real problem that needs to be found underneath it all. Is that close?
Amy Climer: Yeah. And actually, what would be ideal, and this is how the Creative Problem Solving process works, is that you do some of that problem finding before you even get into coming up with ideas. And it is a bit of a back and forth. It is not like you completely separate them out because sometimes it is exactly as you described. Like let’s say I love this roof analogy and I was visualizing that above the roof, there was something else that was causing it, like this pipe of water to drain down on the roof. Like, “Can we move this pipe over into the river?” Or whatever.
If you can do some of that, looking at the problem differently even before getting into ideas, that will change the type of ideas you get. I say a lot, the way you phrase the problem impacts the type of ideas you get. Make sure you are actually describing the real problem, which sometimes is hard, especially at the beginning.
Will Wise: Thanks for sharing so openly. There is a reason why I am not a podcaster host, and a facilitator, trainer and speaker instead. Thanks for letting me try on the mic a little bit. This was fun.
Amy Climer: Awesome! Thank you, Will. I appreciate the questions. They were great. I just want to break down just a little bit of the questions that you were asking. One of the things that I noticed is after I would answer your question, you often would basically do a check to say, “Hey, I think this is what you said. Is this what you actually meant?” Is that something you typically do as a way to listen deeper?
Will Wise: Yes. It is tricky because if you have ever read anything about active listening, they kind of talk about this. But in my book, I do not really talk about active listening because a lot of that can be construed as manipulation. Manipulation is getting somebody to do something without telling them that is what you are trying to get them to do. When I reflect it back, I want to confirm that we are in the same ball field. We may not be playing the same game yet, but we are in the same ball field and we are looking at the same ball and we are seeing it the same way. Because it is easy for me to take something that you are giving and misconstrue it or take it another way. And especially in times when emotions are high or there is a lot at risk, it is definitely worth slowing down the conversation enough to say, “This is what I’m getting. Do I have that right?”
Questioning our Assumptions [33:23]
One of the things that we talk about in the book is questioning our assumptions. There is this idea out there that just do not make assumptions. It is one of Miguel’s Four Agreements book, his third agreement is Don’t Make Assumptions. Actually, in the book, he talks more about questioning your assumptions. But if you do not miss that and you think, “Oh my gosh! All I am supposed to do is not make assumptions,” we are so wired to do that. And especially when you are asking questions, it is really easy to make an assumption. So reflecting it back and saying okay, these are the assumptions that I am making. And I probably said that once or twice, “I am making an assumption here, let me know if I got it.” Because if we move ahead as if that assumption is true, then we are both playing in a different game that we did not sign up for.
Amy Climer: I think that is a really good point. I think sometimes we are so used to making assumptions that we do not even notice we are making assumptions. It does not feel like assumptions. I think of driving down the street and the brake lights on the car in front of you go on. The assumption is that they are stopping. In that case, perhaps that is a helpful assumption, but it is still an assumption. Maybe there is a shot in their electric cable or something. There are all sorts of other explanations. It does not all make sense, but I think we have to make assumptions in some ways, but then there are others that just steer us in the wrong direction.
Will Wise: Yeah, and simply just being aware. If you have the ability to be aware of what your assumption is, you are much further than most people in the workplace. Because, “Well, that is not our policy. Our policy is…” Why did that get created? What is causing that to be so? I was just in a meeting with a 30-year-old organization and they realized that they are doing something at their weekly meetings every Monday that takes 5 to 10 minutes of their time and they no longer need to do it anymore but they have been doing it for 30 years. The system around them changed enough that it is no longer relevant, but they have still been doing it.
Amy Climer: Wow! I would imagine there are listeners who have that same experience. Maybe step one is start questioning how you are designing your team meetings.
Will Wise: Yes, exactly.
Weekly Challenge [35:56]
Amy Climer: That is awesome. Will, this is so great. You have just shared a lot of knowledge and thanks for flipping things around and asking questions. One of the things I like to do on this podcast is end with a weekly challenge. If listeners wanted to focus on some of the things you have talked about and how to ask more powerful questions, what is one thing they could do this week?
Will Wise: Thinking about our questions that I had for you, one of the things that was showing up is that I wanted to ask you why creativity. That was the question that was showing up in my head is why creativity. I wanted to ask that, but that would be really easy to make it so that you have to be defensive or prove that creativity was the way to go. What I did instead is I backtracked a little bit and said okay, what am I really curious about? I am really curious if she is owning creativity, what the world looks like for her. And what was that moment in which she really owned creativity and what was going on there?
If I had one piece of — in my class we call it self-work, in the book I call it self-work as well. There is one challenge that can begin to transform how your conversations go is being aware of what you are really curious about and ask it. Try to ask it with a “how” or “what” in front, not a “why”. Do it with the people around you that you love, do it in your workplace, and if you really want a challenge, do it with the stranger while you are standing at the bank waiting for the teller.
I just recently did this with my wife. We had an experience that dramatically changed her relationship with God in a really fundamental way. And I assumed all the choices that she was making about that for like three years.
Amy Climer: Oh wow!
Will Wise: And then one day I said, “So tell me, what is this relationship?” And asked some questions about it and I got 20 minutes of stuff that I never knew was inside of her that showed up. We have not talked about it since, but I feel much closer to her because I took that risk. And that is the thing that shows up here. If this is a challenge for you, in short, follow your genuine natural curiosity, ask questions of those around you with the “how” or “what” as the first word in the sentence and take the risk and then listen and see what shows up.
Amy Climer: That is awesome. I love it. Thanks, Will.
Will Wise: No worries.
Amy Climer: If people want to learn more about you and about how you are being and what you are doing, where can they go?
Will Wise: Nice play on words. I love it! Our URL is an unusual one. We really have owned this word “we” so https://weand.me/ is our website. You are probably expecting .com to show up, but we decided that we want to help people shift from a “me” mindset to a “we” mindset. But you need both of them to show up, so https://weand.me/. If you want to do https://weand.me/ideas you can sign up for the book launch and the different things that are going on with that. October 19th, 20 and 21st will be the ending week of our book launch and if you go to that website, https://weand.me/ or go to Amazon, you can get the eBook and the paperback at a greatly reduced price.
If the book launch is over and you are listening, we still want to connect with you. Not necessarily in the way of selling books, but to create environments where it is okay to be curious and to ask questions so that we can create conversations that matter.
Amy Climer: Awesome. Thank you so much, Will. Thank you for being on The Deliberate Creative Podcast. It is great to have you here.
Will Wise: I can see you while we are doing this and you are like glowing when you are talking about creativity. There was a little bit more bubble in your steps, your eyes were a little brighter. You are definitely committed to creating a world where people can fully show up. And just talking with you for this hour, whatever it has been, has definitely touched me in a way that I am going to be looking for creativity in the world. Thank you.
Amy Climer: That is so awesome. Thanks for sharing that. Thank you, Will, for being on The Deliberate Creative Podcast. Wow! Will is really good at asking questions. I love how he was examining those assumptions before he went on to his next question and he kind of just did a check with me like, “Hey, this is what I think you said. Does that sound right?” He did not do it after every question, maybe that would have been a bit too repetitive and kind of almost make me a little weary a little bit, but I feel like he did it just enough. I definitely feel like he was really listening to me, which is awesome.
I highly recommend Will’s book, Ask Power Questions: Create Conversations That Matter. I will be honest with you, I have not finished the entire thing, but what I have read so far is so good. I told Will this after we ended the interview that I can be a bit critical of books because I do not have a lot of patience for poor writing. I just find it very arduous to get through if someone is not a good writer and I am so excited about this book because Will writes well. It is easy to read, it feels very real. Right away, he shares this great story where I just thought, “Oh my gosh, I want to learn more. I want to know more about who you are and dig in more.” I highly recommend his book Ask Powerful Questions.
If you are listening to this podcast the week it launches, which it comes out October 19th, 2017, it is still the launch week for the book and so Will has put together some great freebies and some tools for you. Go get those right away October 19th, 20th, 21st of 2017. You can get that at https://weand.me/ideas. And I believe during this week you can also get the book for free on Amazon, the eBook, and a physical copy is at a huge discount. I highly recommend it. Go grab it while it is free or while it is really inexpensive, and even if you miss that, I highly recommend the book. It is great. I am really excited to dig in and to apply more of what Will teaches and what Will has really thought deeply about to the work that I am doing.
You all, if you are new to The Deliberate Creative Podcast, I just want to say thank you so much for listening. If you have enjoyed what you have heard today, I would love it if you would go over to iTunes and leave a quick review. It only takes a moment and it is a great way to share that with other people and to give me feedback. You can go to www.climerconsulting.com/itunes it will take you right there. Also, I will put a link to Will’s website, to the book, all that in the show notes and you can find the show notes at www.climerconsulting.com/079. Head on over there, you can learn more about Will and about his business partner Chad and the amazing work that they are doing through their company We!
One last thing, Chad Littlefield, who works with Will, I interviewed him earlier and if you would like to listen to that episode, he goes into more depth about asking powerful questions. It is a great episode. That is Episode 70, so www.climerconsulting.com/070. Chad breaks down questions, he talks about the “how” and “what” questions and why to avoid the “why” questions. Great episode there.
All right, you all, have a wonderful creative week. I will see you next time. Bye.
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