Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Leadership - The Art of Questions
I really enjoy the parts of my work that have me face to face with new leaders, whether I am leading a training or group coaching process with them. Time and time again, we come back to the basics - communication.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind with respect to the art of questions:
- Great questions are related to what is being said. That really means that we have to listen to what the person is saying to us, not thinking about what question needs to come next. Next conversation you have with a staff, really listen and trust that the right question will come. If not, pause and think about it.
- Great questions are short, sweet and to the point. When did you last get lost in a question someone asked you?
- Great questions are often open-ended, inviting someone to elaborate. Is your question designed to solicit input or is it designed for something else?
- Why questions often put people on the defensive. Why questions however are loved by "why" learners - those that learn through asking the Why?
- How questions will put people into process and may limit creativity and innovation. Try starting with a WHAT question around creativity/innovation and then move to a HOW question.
Next time you are in a conversation, reflect on how you did, AFTER the conversation (not during it). What did you do to really listen and ask great questions?
Have a great week,
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