Leadership The Power Of Questions

Published on
April 15, 2024
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Fortune Management has long advocated that the quality of your life comes down to the quality of your communication. This can be expanded into the quality of your leadership, the quality of your relationships and the quality of your work success comes down to the quality of your communication.

Most of us know that how we communicate with the people who work with us can lead to one of two paths… frustrations and undesired results or having people step into their greatness! How do we create an environment where people thrive and grow personally and professionally? It takes leadership. And being a great leader is being a great coach. At its core, coaching is about getting massively curious and asking powerful questions. Leadership does not mean having to have all the answers…. So ask some open ended, powerful questions to your team and see what the conversation creates!

Here are Some Examples:

How can I support you? Most people don’t want to be micromanaged. Instead, they want autonomy and to feel supported. This quick question can make people feel you have their back. The job of a leader is to support their team! Notice it was not “Can I support you?”. That would be a yes/no question. Using “how can I support you?” will elicit a more positive response.

What questions do you have? An excellent question for both patients and team members, this open ended question has people reflect on if they have a question or not! Notice it’s not “do you have any questions?”. That is a closed question usually answered with a “no”. “What questions do you have?” opens up the conversation further.

Where do you feel you are doing excellent work? By asking this question, you will see what the team member feels is going well, which could be different from your perspective giving you insight as to where you can coach them. It also gives you a chance to acknowledge - something leaders occasionally forget to do.

Where do you need support or training? It’s important to create a safe environment when asking this question. Giving your team members a chance to be humble and acknowledge where they could use support is a powerful way to help them grow professionally.

What’s important now? In Allen Stein Jr’s book, Raise Your Game, he talks about a powerful tool called WIN or asking What’s Important Now? With all of our distractions, a key skill to hone is how to stay present. When you learn to refocus (on the patient or project), you will have better consistency. A longer version is: "What is the most important thing right now that deserves my attention in the present moment?" Get your team in the habit of asking this powerful question!

What’s great about this? Not everything goes as planned and we do not always get the outcome we wanted. Learning from the results that show up is the best way to get better. Asking “what’s great about this?” forces you to see the silver lining from any outcome. I believe there is always something great that can come from all outcomes. What you do with the lesson is up to you.

Become a More Powerful Leader By Asking More Powerful Questions!