The Most Important Question

We Forget to Ask

In the haze of today’s hectic world, we drift into autopilot.

Reacting to our immediate thoughts and emotions instead of responding from our deeper intention.

We take shortcuts.

Miss important details.

Hurt or damage relationships.

Make assumptions.

Label and judge.

Symptoms of our busyness.




In that moment, before you react.

Or assume.

Or blame.

There is a question you can practice.

One question that can break the pattern.

Refocus your attention.

And make room for other possibilities.


Pause with that for a moment.

Imagine you know the kind of person you want to be.

The kind of workplace you want to create.

The outcomes you want to achieve.

Now — in this moment.

This interaction.

This decision.

You have a choice.

You can react to the impulse or respond from a better place.

The place that holds your heart’s desire.

You can –

Use different words.

Consider other options.

Make a connection.

Ask new questions.

Try something else.

Covey called this being ““.

It’s the first habit.

The power to choose.

The opportunity to grow.

Now you have created space between the stimulus and your response.

A space that allows you to create, imagine and choose wisely.

Think back on your day or your week.

Is there a situation you wish you handled differently?

Maybe you recognized later that what you felt at the time was not really true.

What you did was not really in line with who you are.

Or what you hoped to achieve.

If you had asked this question, what might you have done differently?

Let this question serve you and be a resource for your life and leadership.

And when you’re in the moment.

Tempted by the path of least resistance.

Remember it’s there.

Waiting to open the door.

Originally published at on July 12, 2016.

Make the world a better workplace. @scottamabry

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