The quality of the question you ask says a lot more than the question itself.
Smart leaders add value quickly by the questions they ask.
Your ability to hone in on what matters, use sound judgement, make decisions and engage others comes directly from your ability to ask questions.
The better the question, the better information you have to work with. Are you asking enough questions – of yourself, and others? How can you improve the quality of questions you ask?
The degree to which you can influence others is the degree to which you can also be influenced.
Asking questions enables you to challenge and validate your thinking and to expand it with new perspective. How often do you revert to easy thinking (the thinking you know) versus the thinking you don’t (yet)) – maybe it’s that unknown thinking that could enable you to lead better?
This blog has lots of questions. On purpose.
Sam often caught himself being a typical Engineer and jumping to solution mode (his words not mine). While he sought opinions and advice from others, he always communicated from his thinking set.
Leadership starts from understanding where someone else’s thinking set is at and leading the conversation from there (as opposed to ‘telling’ others from your thinking set). In other words, starting a conversation from their perspective. From their concerns. Finding out where others are at, happens, best, by asking questions
How could asking more questions help your leadership?
Are you experiencing the depth of relationships you want?
Are you able to influence others in the way you want?
Are you getting the results you want?
Asking great questions depends your mindset – your ability to be open, curious and non-judgemental. To value and appreciate the diverse perspectives of others around you.
Why is this important – for you, and your team?
Don’t accept the first answer as the best answer. Question everyone further to stretch the thinking – yours and others – and it takes courage because the process is frustrating. However, pushing past the boundaries of ‘easy’ thinking leads to better insight, ideas and solutions.
Steve Jobs, for example, never made assumptions. He approached each problem set with a voracious appetite for learning, and to learn, he had to question.
What questions can you ask this week to enable you to stretch your thinking and that of your team? I’d love to know.