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How do women become powerful? By knowing more, understanding more, and thus making better decisions. They know that asking questions is the only way to get information, gain commitment, build relationships and reach their full potential. Powerful women know that to get ahead, you must stop talking and start asking. How can you use the magic wand called the question to become more powerful? That is what I explore in my new book, The 7 Powers of Questions. The end result of applying the seven powers is that you get unstuck - in the way you communicate, relate, work, and live. Are you asking better, different, more focussed questions than you did last year? My purpose here is to encourage women to stop taking questions for granted and instead take advantage of this amazing and underutilized power - the question.

What's one of the most important questions I can ask? "Can you clarify that?" People tend to speak unknowingly in generalities. Often, your boss may tell you that you did a good job. Great - but what about your performance did she like? Was there something she thought was particularly good? What could have been improved? Be proud of yourself for doing a great job, but be sure to find out why that person thinks it was good. Once you have that knowledge, it will be easier to continue the good job. Women who succeed know specifically what is expected of them and how they are being evaluated. You can't "do" generalities. It is the right specifics that get the job done and get it done well.

How can women use questions to gain the competitive edge? By asking the right kinds of questions, women can get and keep control in any situation. They are the perfect way to keep control without seeming overbearing or "too aggressive." Often times, we are caught in a Catch-22- if we seem too controlling we are labeled derogatory names, but if we sit back and let things happen without getting involved, we're left behind. Many of my female colleagues articulate the same concern: men taking credit for their ideas. If it happens to you, ask this: "John, I see you've adopted my idea. What did you find so helpful about it?"

How can questions help me reach my full potential? The toughest questions are the one we ask ourselves. "What do I really want to do?" "What do I want to be when I grow up?" "Where do I want to go from here?" These are questions we have all asked, but in my experience, many people ask them, but few answer them. "What do I want to do?" is a good question, but not a great one. "What would I do if I could not fail?" is better. This question leads you to think about what your passions are.

Questions are the answer. They are the gold of the new millenium. They can help us achieve our goals and reach our dreams because they have power. Become an asker and harness the 7 Powers of Questions!

  Dorothy Leeds
  800 West End Ave.
  New York, NY   10025
  212.932.8364 (FAX)

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