Much of a professional’s day is spent asking for information, requesting status updates, or questioning for understanding. Questions can do more than measure what someone knows.
Asking questions is a powerful tool for unlocking potential, discovering personal barriers, and uncovering opportunities. For some people, questioning comes easily. Yet, most don’t ask enough questions, ask questions based on assumptions, or fail to pose questions that promote exploration of new possibilities.
When skilled at asking questions, a leader can:
-Open up conversations
-Fuel performance improvement
-Build rapport and trust
-Mitigate business risk by uncovering hidden hazards
Recently, I led a cohort where I asked thought-provoking questions from my book Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change.
These questions were posed so attendees could discover for themselves what might be in the way of accomplishing their goals.
One of my clients shared her deep discovery of what held her back from moving forward on her plans. She got to the source of what held her back. She developed a whole new level of freedom around her actions. No amount of prescriptive advice could have tapped into that personal discovery.
When questions are utilized in ways that are focused on the other person, as opposed to forcing an outcome, it’s amazing what new possibilities or breakthroughs develop.
As leaders, imagine what might be created if we asked questions instead of made assumptions. Ask questions, instead of being prescriptive.