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August 17, 2016

Starting Thought: The Power of Questions

Here’s a recent conversation with my 6-year-old daughter, Avi.


Avi:  “I have a question for you.”

David:  “Great – what?”

Avi:  “But before I ask it.  Can you not ask me what I think before you give me the answer?”

My daughter knows me well.  She has my number!  And I take comfort that she finds me rather predictable.

Asking Questions Shows Curiosity

I’m thrilled she’s curious and asks a lot of questions.  What I’ve found is that in many cases, she knows the answers to the questions she’s asking.  Or, at least has a great starting thought to the answer.

tweet-button-2015.pngAsking questions helps us know whether our teams are being strategic and looking at strategic options and choices.

It’s the same with our teams. And it’s up to us as leaders to seek out input so we can ensure the best decisions are being made for our teams and organizations. 

Questions Help Us Understand

Asking questions helps us:

  • Understand where there’s clarity in the outcome sought or a need to clarify the problem we’re solving
  • Gather facts, perspectives, opinions, and help advance one’s thinking
  • Know whether our teams are being strategic and looking at strategic options and choices
  • Highlight where conflict might exist
  • Understand what might be getting in the way of success
  • Use conversations for coaching and teaching moments

The questions people ask tell us what they’re thinking.  And using dialogue strategically can help our people think for themselves in an even smarter and more strategic way.

That also requires that we don’t have the belief that we—as a leader—have all the answers.

Rather, we have all the right questions.

What’s your ratio or asking questions to answering them, and how do you ask many more questions than you answer?

—David Grossman

Fact: leadership skills can be learned. Face your leadership challenges, conquer fears head on, and learn how to lead better than ever before:

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Tag(s): Leadership

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