Changing the Questions Starts at Hello


Last month I wrote an article for Creating the Future’s monthly journal about what happens when we frame our conversations with different questions. What happens is it changes everything!

A little back story: Creating the Future is a living laboratory for accelerating change. As a Fellow with Creating the Future, we envision communities where people are living well, individually and collectively. We know such a future is possible, simply because it is not impossible. When we change the questions embedded in the day-to-day work of individuals and organizations everyone naturally brings out the best in each other and in our world.

Creating the Future is home for me, sharing and learning from my fellow Creating the Future Fellows who are located all over the world. Each of us is aiming for what is possible every day in and with communities, organizations, individuals, and ourselves. Simply put, it is how I BE.


1. Everyone wants to live in a healthy, thriving, compassionate and resilient community.

Don’t you? Now stop to think about that. What does that look and feel like to you? However you define your community, in a macro or micro sense, what will it be like to walk down the street in the community? What will happen when you see another community member?

When we start our conversations around  what we want to aim for, we see that we are all in this together, and have all the wisdom, experience, passions, gifts, and ‘stuff’ to build on.  Together we have enough.  In “Heaven’s Already Here,” Collective Soul asks “Who could bring me heaven, when heaven’s already here?” We have what we need to create the future we want for ourselves individually and collectively.

2. We all share one same label of COMMUNITY MEMBER.

Stop labeling, categorizing and silo-ing each other. Stop meeting people with a follow-up question of “What do you DO?” We are not what we DO. We are how we BE in the world.

Consider changing your follow-up question to: What excites you the most about our/your community? What’s something AWESOME that is going on in your world? 

Consider asking these same questions of yourself, your partner, your neighbor, your son, your colleague, or any community member you see or talk to, and see what happens. There may be a pause, as that is not the usual question posed, but WE CAN CHANGE THAT. Relax, keep your mouth shut, and give the person some time to think about what you asked. Then see where the conversation goes.

If you are at an event using name tags, or will be hosting a future event, what if you reswizzle what goes on the name tag? What if the norm for name tags becomes:

Hello My Name is



We are all rock stars with gifts to share. What are yours? [Possible tagline to print or fill in on the bottom]

What might that make possible? What might that uncover, tap, connect, spark and ignite?

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