WE CAN ALL EMRACE INQUIRING LEADERSHIP
Several weeks ago I was coaching an experienced leader and we were discussing how she could be more effective in leading her teammates on a daily basis.
We engaged in a discussion about the power of questions. So frequently in the workplace, we ask questions without appreciating the impact of those questions. For example, when things go wrong, we often ask “What went wrong?” or “Who’s responsible?
These kinds of questions seek to understand, but they also seek to assign blame or find culprits. Blame-seeking questions tend to shut off conversation or motivate people to be defensive.
My client and I discussed the power of “what questions.” Open-ended what questions can lead to several important results:
They tend to be much more effective than yes or no questions. Yes or no questions can produce answers, but also can limit further exploration or problem-solving.
As Marilee Adam’s wrote in a recent blog post, inquiring leaders “use questions as a primary strategy to produce powerful results in the workplace.
Information gathering questions can help leaders understand the needs, challenges, and contributions of colleagues, team members and stakeholders — You ask more than you tell.”
Questions allow us to remain curious for a while longer, which in turn helps us learn more and develop better solutions.
So refrain from making quick decisions and keep asking great questions! That habit will enable you to grow into a more effective leader.