Take an Inquiry Stance and Open Your Mind

In Chapter 7 of Onward, Elena shares 5 practices to train your brain and direct your mind and emotions to focus on the bright spots. Yesterday we shared how to Set Intentions to Direct Your Mind and today we are going to share about taking an inquiry stance to open your mind.

Orienting your mind to take an inquiry stance allows you to observe with open expansiveness, an appreciation for strengths, and a willingness to be surprised. It means asking questions for which you don’t have the answers. We know that taking an inquiry stance will boost our resilience and open up new possibilities. Here are some reflection prompts to get you started:

  • What’s a problem you’d like to address in your school or classroom?
  • Generate three open questions about this problem.
  • Identify three people whom you could ask for their perspective.
  • Can you identify a place where this problem isn’t apparent? What do you suspect might be the reason? How might you learn about how that problem has been dealt with in that context?

And if you are a leader, learn from What Does It Mean To Lead From an Inquiry Stance? Superintendent Randy Ziegenfuss shares how the inquiry stance is critical to bring about change: “Leaders who embrace an inquiry stance are relentless about seeking out ways to improve the current context in which they work. They identify problems/challenges and ask questions – of themselves and others (inquiry is collaborative, after all) to explore possible approaches, develop plans, gather data and evaluate for results. The disposition to inquiry is persistent among leaders who take an inquiry stance. Inquiry can occur at any time and in any place as a particular context requires, always driven by some sort of immediacy or need.”

What problem are you going to approach with an inquiry stance?