Cartesian Questions

Here is a very simple yet highly effective set of questions that are used to explore outcomes and consequences and the overall ecology of some decision.

When you or someone else is faced with making a decision, check out the effects, consequences and outcomes while exploring the overall ecology.

Here are the four questions. Ask them in the order presented.
After asking each one, ask

“and what else?”

  • What will happen if you do ‘X’
  • What wont happen if you do ‘X’
  • What will happen if you don’t do ‘X’
  • What wont happen if you don’t do ‘X’

For Example:

My friend John said just a day or two ago “I want to quit my job and do something I really enjoy”.

So I asked – “What will happen if you quit your job”
John Replied – “Feel very good, My wife will be angry, Work will be pissed off with me and I will think about doing something worthwhile.”
“And what else?”
“There will be enough money to live on so I could do some retraining”
“And what else?”

So John, What wont happen if you do quit your job?
What wont happen? I wont, we wont go on holiday this year, Sarah wont get her new car and I wont renew my sports subscription
“And what else?”
I wont feel miserable doing a worthless job, I wont listen to my incompetent boss
And what else?

And so on and so forth, you get the picture. This process is about exploration with rapport. Its about asking the questions with genuine curiosity and facilitating an information gathering process.

happy processing

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