Relationship Healing Question – Ask … What Matters to You?

Relationship Healing - What Matters to You
Transformation involves re-creating your environment – internal, external and interpersonal. Successful transformation supports and promotes wellness, healing and loving relationships. Incomplete transformation leads to confusion, discontent and stress.

How do you motivate yourself and others to do what is best for the body, mind, spirit and interpersonal relationships? How do you encourage someone to take the necessary steps toward healing, whether or not they understand the benefits they will derive?

A pilot program at Duke University, funded by the Center for Medicate and Medicaid Services (CMS), studied people with hypertension, diabetes and other debilitating illnesses who were at risk for heart disease. Through a randomized, controlled trial over a 10 month period, participants made lifestyle changes that reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.

One physician, Tracy Gaudet, MD, was curious about how the program had worked so successfully. She wondered what was “the magic ingredient” that changed the participants’ lives. After the program had ended, Dr. Gaudet interviewed a group of the participants to discover what had motivated each of these individuals. The answers were surprising and not quite what had been expected.

One lady explained that she was finally able to “bend over and tie my own shoes.” She neglected to mention that she had lost 78 pounds. What motivated her was the potential to do a physical activity that she had been unable to accomplish for a long time.

One of the men shared that “being able to dance with his wife again” had made a huge difference. He failed to mention that he was no longer diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome and was off all of his medication.

Dr. Gaudet discovered that curing chronic pain, losing weight, or stopping smoking were not big enough incentives for anyone to make significant and lasting lifestyle changes. The lesson learned from this study, according to Dr. Gaudet, is: “When we change the dialogue, people can shift their behavior, their health, and even their life.”

The two important questions to ask yourself and your potential clients and customers are:

  • Who are you?  Tell me about yourself
  • What matters most to you?

Therein lies the perfect opportunity for you to share exactly how your product, service or personal request will help the other person attain what matters most to him or her.

Are you ready to ask your friend, your lover, your business associate, your children or anyone you meet to tell you about who they are and what matters most to them?

What matters most to YOU?  Please leave a comment below and share this post with your friends and family.  Find out what matters most to them, moment to moment.

CALL ME for a FREE Consultation. I can help you get where you want to go.


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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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48 thoughts on “Relationship Healing Question – Ask … What Matters to You?

  1. Hi Dr. Erica,

    What this study shows is that there may be a huge difference between what people need and what their really want. Their wants are usually more important than their needs.
    This is why when you are sending your message to the people you need to be aware what they want, first.
    Great study and great results.

    Have a wonderful day

    • Silviu,

      So many of us ask questions or offer advice that WE are interested in, that we think is important, and that we think the other person needs. But research reveals that we may have no idea what the other person really wants, what will get to them emotionally and make them say unequivocally “I want that, I need that, now.”


      Dr. Erica

  2. To improve your life and your relationships really needs to heal your wounds. First you have to be aware of your problems to solve it and move to the next level.

    • Bruno,

      One of the major problems in relationships is that when you are close to another person, it can appear as if that other person is causing your problems. if you have not healed your own wounds, it may be difficult to know what you are thinking and doing to affect the responses of others. First step is to know yourself well, then you are in a better position to begin to understand others.


      Dr. Erica

  3. I love the way you’ve worded this question. I always ask what my clients/readers want . . . but I’ve never worded it like this. I think this is extremely powerful.

  4. Loved your post! The best networkers in the world build relationships easily not because they are outgoing or excel at small talk, but because they focus on other people — learning about what they do, listening to what they need, and seeing how they can help.

    • Rachel,

      You are so right. Networking is actually the art of caring about others and showing that you really do care. Once people know that you care they are much more likely to want to do business with you.


      Dr. Erica

  5. Great Article Dr. Erica,

    I love this thought provoking article.
    “When we change the dialogue, people can shift their behavior, their health, and even their life.” If we can focus more on what matters most to our clients
    We will be able to better serve them them..

    • Greg,

      Especially before someone becomes a client, it is so important to discover what that person wants and needs before even explaining what you are offering. Maybe that person needs something different and you may be able to connect them to someone else. Your product or service may not be right for them. If we focus on the other person right from the beginning, business becomes more enjoyable and so much more of a win-win.


      Dr. Erica

  6. I agree 100% with the conclusion that when we change the dialogue, we can shift their behavior, our health, and even our lives. I believe there is a battle of the minds.
    The dialogue within us that tells us we are either a winner or a failure, a victor or a victim.
    This dialogue translates into the relationships we have with ourselves and with others and this could be a positive or a negative depending on which dialogue we have allowed to persist within us.

    Thank you for a well written post.

    • Benjamin,
      What you are describing is the difference between a competitive approach (I am better or you are better) and a creative/loving/relationship approach (We are both in this together; how can we make it better for both).


      Dr. Erica

  7. Finding your deeper motives changes your life in a big way so doing the same for others can open prospering communication channels. Spot on advice because we want to tell our story and share what we value. Thanks for sharing Dr. Erica!

    • Ryan,

      I love your response – “Spot on advice.” You are so right, we do want to tell our story if someone will listen. Be the one who elicits the other person’s story – and then listen.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Hi Dr. Erica,
    it is great to read about people who have achieved healing and their ‘deeper why’.
    Finding out what inspires us and others is a very valuable thing to do, because then we can connect with what ‘pulls us into action and/or change’.
    What inspires me at this stage in my life is passing on things I learn that lead to more Well Being on all levels.
    I love the thought that what I pass on may inspire people, or even just one person to live a more enjoyable and empowered life.

    Thank you for sharing this post.
    Love and Light

    • Yorinda,

      You have certainly been turning many of us on to the incredible health benefits of coconut oil and many other healthy choices that we may not realize.


      Dr. Erica

  9. Dr. Erica most people are too busy complaining to even understand what they desire or not. Yet, I love the fact that people I meet everyday talk about what they do not have and how things use to be in their lives. They are not living in the present nor can see a future.

    That is what hurts my heart. I will tell you what matters to me, you and your needs. That just goes with everyone I meet daily what their needs are not desires. That is what matters to me.

    I live to enhance the health and welfare of all people. There are too many people who are lost and just keep moving in a circle expecting things to get better or change without doing anything different. Now, that is insanity. Yet, it is true and all around us daily.

    So, ask what is important to me is to help all these so called blind, to see. Helping people move forward and understand the fundamentals of things.

    Thank you for making us think about others and ourselves. Most of us in business of support services have no thought as to our needs, wants or desires based on living our core passion of serving others gives us all our needs.

    Your the best Dr. Erica and making me feel good to focus for just that moment on me was worth the time reading all these remarks.

    • William,

      I just noticed your comment buried between other comments. You always attempt to live in the moment with a positive attitude and a giving heart. What a wonderful way to approach each day and each person.


      Dr. Erica

  10. I’ve just finished a great book “Willpower, Discovering the Greatest Human Strength” by Baumeister and Tierney – which talks a great deal about initiating change/transformation and how to have your brain/body help you in the process. Understanding the energy involved in making a change and planning ahead for periods of low energy/reduced willpower can ease the process of change.

    • Marty,

      Change can be much more difficult than we anticipate. It often requires letting go of, and even grieving the loss, of some familiar and comfortable way we have done things before, some familiar relationship that no longer serves us. So if we, as coaches, understand the energy involved, we can much more easily be supportive of our clients in the midst of their struggles to change.


      Dr. Erica

  11. Hello Dr Erica,
    I love these questions, they are powerful and when we listen we can extract the values of the person we have in front of us and serve in the best way.
    These questions leverage our work as coaches, as partners and as friends.
    I also like to ask a future pacing question:
    in what way this will change X in your life in the next months or year?
    How do you see yourself there in your goal?

    Thanks for sharing looking forward to learning more!

    • Patricia,

      I love your suggestion of asking a future question. In my Healing Through Love Seminar Series I created an entire module all about Healing Your Relationship to Your Future. We know that when we have a clear vision of what we want, we are on the road to receiving and achieving it.


      Dr. Erica

  12. Hi Dr Erica, so it’s really more about how someone will feel after they’ve achieved whatever health goal they need to achieve to save their life (really)? It’s not about knowing that it will save their life, just about the way it feels?
    So to help a loved one, we really need to find out what matters most to them, to ask them the right questions? It makes a lot of sense doesn’t it!

    • Julieanne,

      You have nailed it. Think about people you know who have stopped smoking, lost weight, started an exercise routine. Even though they may say in words “I know this will help me to be healthier,” the real reason that got them motivated to begin was whatever meant something important to them, something they knew would make them feel good (like fitting into an outfit or proving the doctor wrong).

  13. Hi Dr. Erica,
    Love your blog and interesting article. It is frightening to know how incomplete transformation can lead to confusion, discontent and stress.
    Most people today have a tendency of just giving facts (answer) … without identifying what is the main problem (question) at first place.

    • Justin,

      True, many people do not take the time to find out what the other person really wants and needs. But they also don’t take the time to discover what they, themselves, want and need. The tendency is to follow the latest trend, which may not currently be the right thing for you or someone else.


      Dr. Erica

  14. Hi Dr Erica,
    This was truly thought provoking.
    I find that as I get older, the things that matter the most to me, are changing.
    I may be contacting you for that free consultation.
    Thanks for teaching us about the relationships that matter.

    • Hi Princess Shimari,

      I would be happy to speak with you on skype. I agree, that as we get older and have lived through different life experiences, the things that matter most to us do change. I think about the Buddhist way of thinking – Not this, not this, not this. We start to gradually eliminate from our desires all those things that no longer serve us, no longer excite us and no longer interest us. We gradually get to the core of what truly matters most – and I believe that is love, love for yourself, love for life, gratitude for being alive, and love for others.


      Dr. Erica

  15. Hi Erika, I love this post, few years ago I was working as a social worker to help drug addict, prostitute and alcoholic, and I do remember the part of my work was really listen to them very carefully and not only listen earring what they say, but more what they really say. I mean this is the part of my Job I did like very much, but after a while I was not very effective no more, because I new what people are gonna say because of the pattern. So I wasn’t listening with that passion I use to have so I change carrier. But I have seen so many result, amazing result, people being transform. That was very grateful. Thank for your post.

    • Helene,

      How interesting that you have done that type of intense counseling. That background and know-how will certainly help in building your online business and sharing your programs and packages. People, whether or not they have an alcohol or drug problem, want and need to be listened to and heard.


      Dr. Erica

  16. AA faA fascinating post filled with little snippets making up the whole and the comments are just as brilliant. Loved reading this Erica, I totally related to doing your own shoelaces up.

    • Sarah,

      We need to remember to ask the right questions and find out what other people are really motivated by. It is often not what we think it is and not even what seems apparent at first.


      Dr. Erica

  17. Oh I like these questions. They really off er the opportunity to gain information, to share, and when you really listen to the answers, you can respond in a better, more meaningful way …Open ended questions are always the best. When you ask the right question, the answers just may surprise you … love this.. your friend..L

    • Lesly,

      You are so right that there is tremendous value in asking the right questions and eliciting the right questions from others.


      Dr. Erica

  18. Hi Dr. Erica!

    Good point! We do not know what people need unless we listen to them. What motivates them is what I like to know when working with someone. If they want to go from point A to point B, there is always something deeper that motivates them.

    I like the example you have given about the woman who can now tie her shoes. It wasn’t about the 78 pounds she lost, but to be able to tie her own shoes was a greater motivation.

    In short: We need to listen very carefully to provide our services. And as that old saying goes “listening is an art.” The more we really tune in and listen, our relationships with others can become stronger.


    • Donna,

      It is actually harder to practice listening skills than to just talk, ramble on about our own ideas, about ourselves, about our needs and desires. But when we slow down and really listen, we can learn so much and really be of service to others.


      Dr. Erica

  19. HI Dr Erica, I have been finding myself sking more questions lately> I also have learned that once I ask I need to just Shut Up and listen. People will tell you everything you want to know but only if you ask! Yes people need a reason to do certain things and it is out job to get them talking. I loved your stories.. Thanks for sharing Chery 🙂

    • Thanks Chery,

      It really is important to ask good questions. And you pointed out the next important aspect after you ask the question. “To shut up and listen.” We often forget the second part.


      Dr. Erica

  20. I normally ask my clients what they want and expect when they hire me. Frankly, if I can’t solve that, then I can’t help them succeed. In asking, they see me as truly wanting to help.

    • Nile,
      You are so right. If you don’t ask and know what your clients want and need, how can you help them to succeed?


      Dr. Erica

  21. Hi Erica. I think what I liked most about this post is how people made changes in their lives when they found a reason to do so.

    The woman lost 78 pounds because it was important to her to do for herself. The man made changes in his life so he could enjoy an activity with his wife.

    People will only make changes when they find something that they want more than the behavior that is causing them problems. My husband told me about a guy who was in the same hospital ward as him. He was a double amputee who had lost his legs from smoking. The nicotine caused his cells to die, and the docs had to keep going in to cut off more body parts as they died. My husband said that all the guy did was smoke and whine.

    Asking people who they are is a great starting point. Thanks for this post.

    All the best,

    • Leslie,

      What a strange and powerful example of someone not finding a powerful enough reason to change. Instead, this person chose to continue smoking and continue to have body parts removed, causing him more distress.

      It is so important to find what matters to you and to help others do the same.


      Dr. Erica

  22. Hi Dr. Erica,

    I liked your comment about what you would do when being robbed. Your behavior is different when you are thinking about yourself instead of what matters most. Your answer made it very clear about how we react or take action depending upon our focus.

    So your question is, “What matters most to YOU?” The fact that I related to your story about retrieving your child in the situation you described will tell you that my children matter the most and I know if I had to, I would die for them if I had to. Keeping them safe supersedes everything. It goes so deep from there because I have to think about why? The only answer I have is pure love. Thanks for a post that made me dig deeper.

    Besides my children, being the best I can be and attaining the freedom to do what I want with my time matters most too!

    Raena Lynn

    • HI Raena,

      The point of my post is that we may think we know what someone else wants but unless we ask them what matters to them, we may be completely off track. Yes, they may wish they could make more money. Yes, they may want to feel more healthy. But if we ask the right questions, we can discover what is the real underlying non-negotiable thing that matters most to them – and maybe we have something to offer that can help with that.


      Dr. Erica

  23. Hi Erica

    You know I think most of us are just LAZY….

    Let me explain…

    Most people get home from work.. veg out in front of the tv… fall asleep… eat at some point… go to bed.. get up.. go to work… etc

    We become slaves to laziness right? Sure not EVERYONE does the above but MOST do.

    I guess we need to help people wake up and see if we can help a few people? If I can help my mom change her life around after 20 years of trying I sure would be up to the challenge of helping others too… Watch out for the video coming on the blog in a few weeks.. It is going to help THOUSANDs of people.. How 1 women fought off 30 years of Lazyness to become more respected, more loved and gained massive respect…

    Anyway…. I sometimes do get lazy.. It’s just a case of turning that gene off and running the other way.. don’t you agree?


    • William,

      I wasn’t implying that people are lazy, although some are. But the point of my article is that what you may think is someone’s laziness may really be that you have not touched upon the one thing that matters most to them.

      Once, when I walked into my apartment to find a man in the process of robbing me, I did not run after him. Instead, I went the other way, out into the hall to tell the doorman and get the police (who weren’t around). However, if my child was there and he was holding him or her, I would probably have done whatever I could to retrieve the child, not even thinking of my own safety.

      So, what matters most to someone in the moment or for their longterm good is really the key to motivation.


      Dr. Erica

  24. Lovely prompts, thank you Erica to remind us that what we think matters most, might not be what our clients are looking for, or for that matter, the significant people in our lives. It’s so simple isn’t it to ask just a few words, and yet it’s very easy to forget!

    • Jackie,

      I was suggesting that what we think does not really matter when we are working with a client. The key is to find out what the other person is thinking and really wants, what matters most to them. We need to not allow what matters most to us to interfere with our understanding other people.

      Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if everyone we meet was concerned about what matters most to us rather than only to themselves.


      Dr. Erica

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