The Question Habit

Good questions are often far more powerful than answers.

When we want things done, most leaders think it’s best to tell others what to do.

We tend to make statements—aka ‘talk’. We offer opinions, speculate and hypothesize.

It’s not easy to break the ‘talking’ habit and shift into the question habit.

I promise you that asking questions will improve your team experience and performance. More importantly, it will add ease and grace to your leadership.

Open-ended questions are the most powerful.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • What do you think?
  • What feels right? What doesn’t?
  • What matters most? What do you want to do next?
  • Who should be involved? What’s a reasonable timeline?
  • What other options can you think of?
  • What do you think will happen if we do that?

Open-ended questions develop critical thinking skills. They engage others. They challenge thinking. They can throw cold water on our most deeply held assumptions, and force us out of our traditional thinking, which often is part of the problem.

When we engage others, our conversation can reframe and redefine the problem—without drama.

As Einstein said, “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Want to learn to be a good questioner? Call me. I have some questions for you.