Mission Questions for Families

Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More, found that he was able to dramatically improve communication in his family just by making time for regular weekly meetings—during which, the same three questions were considered each time by the group:

  • What went well in the family this past week?
  • What could we do better?
  • What things will we commit to working on in the coming week?

Updating an idea that originated with the author Steven Covey, Feiler also suggests families create their own “mission statements,” similar to those used by companies. The idea of having a shared sense of familial purpose is a good one—but perhaps a “mission question” might be more engaging than a “statement.” A family mission question could be: How might we, as a family, better serve the community? Or, How might we carry on the traditions of our forebearers?

Part of the rewarding experience is figuring out, together, what might be the most meaningful, enjoyable, and promising question to pursue as a group. When searching for such a question—whether as a group or as an individual—you don’t want to make the choice lightly.

Let me end with one great way to get the family meeting started: Ask “What’s the best question you asked today?”

Excerpted from the “Questioning for Life” chapter in A More Beautiful Question.


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