February 24, 2017 Daniel Pleșa

Closing the Circle: asking better questions to get better answers


Somebody once told me that if you want to get better answers, you’d better start asking better questions. Since then, I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of transformational questions, because as I’ve noticed, questions direct focus and energy, and if used properly, can change an entire perspective upon a situation or event.

The years spent in AIESEC and the ones after, have enabled me to share this with team mates and friends, and see how it benefits them as well. Closing an experience (it can be a role, a job, or just finishing a month or a wrapping up a year) by reflecting on what happened and how it changed me as a human being, helped me make better sense of what was happening, and approach the upcoming period with a more clear intent.

Therefore, I’ve decided to share 21 questions that might help you put things into perspective, and get the most out of yor next experience. You can easily replace the word “month” with “year” or with “job” or whatever you want to have a look at.

To get the full benefits, ideally you want to do grab a piece of paper, a pen, find your favorite spot in your favorite café, play some music and block your calendar for some time. What is really important is to write the answers down, so it becomes real, but also because if you want to do this regularly, you’ll have the chance to have an overview for longer periods.

Here we go! Enjoy!

  1. Take a look at the past month…what are the first thoughts that pop in your mind?
  2. What were the highlights of this month?
  3. What was the biggest surprise of this month?
  4. What was the best thing you bought for yourself during this month?
  5. What was the biggest time waster in your life this past month?
  6. Capture your past month as a color, a taste, a feeling, smell and a sound. Write a short description explaining why you chose each.
  7. Describe the month in a single word.
  8. What is something you accomplished this past month that you are proud of?
  9. What was the most challenging part of this month for you?
  10. What is something that was hard for you at the start of the month, but is easy now?
  11. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
  12. How are you different this month than the last?
  13. What were the moments when you were at your best? Describe.
  14. What are the patterns? What is putting you at your best?
  15. Is there anything you would like to complete before the start of a new month?
  16. Is there anyone to forgive, including yourself? What for?
  17. If you knew you were going to die in 2 weeks, what would you do?
  18. What are you most grateful for this past month?
  19. What do you need to let go of?
  20.  What do you want to hold on to?
  21. What is your biggest ambition for the next month?