Friday, February 27, 2015

Ask Smarter: Seven Key Questions

If you read the last blog you know the "A" in CRAZY is Ask.

But, what should you ask? Well, it depends on what you need to know and if you're with me on the caregiving is like taking a physics test when you don't know physics the questions will depend on your situation.

However, here's a strategy that not only will help you come up with the right questions, it will literally make you smarter.

There are seven simple questions that form the basis of any exercise in getting the answers you need. Six of the questions are in a poem by Rudyard Kipling:
"I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew.
Their names are What and Why and Where and How and When and Who."

In our exercise we'll be adding How Much to the poem.

Here's how you start: First, don't ever go into any sort of meeting (in person, on the phone or online...with doctors, social workers, caregivers) without something to write with and something to write on. We forget half of what a doctor tells us before we ever walk out of their office, so don't rely on your memory.

Next, simply write these seven questions in the upper left-hand corner of what you are writing on: What? Why? Who? Where? When? How? How Much?

Your eyes see the questions and relay the information to your brain (remember, your brain's basic purpose is to answer questions) and your brain starts looking for and being aware of, answers.

Using this simple exercise means fewer of those head-slapping, Why Didn't I Ask That?! moments.

Ask more questions and you'll be less CRAZY.

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