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The Power of Evaluative Questions

The Power of Evaluative Questions

The Power of Evaluative Questions: Steering Emotional Responses for a Positive Outlook

Experience is an intricate web, woven from a myriad of elements such as facts, sense perception, identification, evaluation, and emotional responses. Understanding how these components interact and influence one another is key to effectively managing our emotions and fostering a positive outlook on life.

In this blog, we will explore the role of evaluations in shaping emotional responses and the importance of utilising the right type of evaluative questions to cultivate confidence and a problem-solving mind set.

The Interplay between Facts, Evaluations, and Emotional Responses

While facts often serve as triggers, they do not directly cause emotional responses. It is rather the evaluations of these facts that provoke our emotions. By altering our evaluations, we can effectively change our emotional responses to any given situation.

Evaluations occur subconsciously as the mind rapidly asks and answers habitual questions.

These evaluative questions fall into two distinct categories: positive (problem-solving) questions and negative (killer) questions.

Negative Evaluative Questions: The Killer Questions

Killer questions are detrimental as they presuppose a negative emotional response in the mind. Examples of such questions include, "Why do I get all the bad luck?" and "Why do I always fail?"

By asking these questions, we inadvertently reinforce negativity and pessimism, undermining our confidence and preventing us from engaging in constructive problem-solving.

Positive Evaluative Questions: The Problem-Solving Questions

On the other hand, problem-solving questions inevitably lead to a positive emotional response in the mind. These questions include, "What are the facts?", "How do we know?", "What are the most important things?", "What do they mean?", "What should we do?", and "How should we feel?"

By focusing on these questions, we encourage a constructive and rational approach to understanding and addressing challenges. This leads to increased confidence and a more optimistic outlook.

The Importance of Using the Correct Brand of Questions

To effectively navigate life's complexities, it is crucial to utilise problem-solving questions rather than killer questions.

By consciously choosing to ask positive evaluative questions, we engage our intellectual mind and foster an environment of rationality and confidence.

Conversely, when we succumb to the temptation of asking killer questions, we shut down our intellectual mind, diminishing our ability to think clearly and make well-informed decisions.


In conclusion, our emotional responses are largely dictated by the evaluations we make of the facts we encounter.

By consciously choosing to ask positive, problem-solving questions, we can steer our emotions towards a more constructive and optimistic outlook.

This not only promotes confidence but also empowers us to tackle challenges head-on, armed with a rational and solution-oriented mind set.

Ultimately, the power to shape our experiences and emotional responses lies within our grasp, and it all begins with asking the right questions.

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You can improve your questioning skills by attending our Communication Skills Training Course.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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