What do you think about the title of this article? In your conversations, how often do you make strong statements? Do you ask good questions? When you do ask a question, how well do you listen to the response? What role do questions play in good leadership? How do questions engage people’s attention and involvement? Why did I start this article with several questions?
Asking good questions is a skill that I want to practice and improve. Questions cause people to think. They stimulate curiosity, and when coupled with patient listening, they are one of the most powerful communication tools in the world. A good question can cut through the fog, clarify the situation and expose the truth.
How do you feel around people that express strong opinions? Which person are you most likely to trust? The person who assertively expresses their own thoughts and is closed to other’s ideas, or the person who demonstrates a genuine interest in others by asking good questions and listening? The most effective leaders listen and respond to others.
Good questions are the life blood of effective leadership. A good leader helps others see what they don’t currently see. As the leader asks probing questions, listens well, and then asks deeper questions based on the responses, people begin to discover and understand. When the team is present and fully engaged in the process, it can bring objective clarity to confusion and get people on the same page.
Perhaps you are you trying to bring people together. In your next conversation, what good question could you ask?