Questions Are Answers
Great questions change everything.
Commands invite protection, resistance, and fault-finding. Questions invite collaboration and shared responsibility.
There’s a great question for every situation.
- Inspire thought.
- Invite. “What do you think?”
- Explore. “What does success look like?”
- Solve. “How does life change if you choose option B?”
- Clarify. “What have you learned?”
- Establish expectations. “What would you like me to do for you?” or “What are you looking for from me?”
- Call for personal responses. “What do you think should be done?
- Don’t have obvious answers. “What’s important to you about this?”
- Express compassion. “How does this make you feel?”
- Create accountability. “What actions would you like to take?”
Bonus: Include silence.
When facing complaints about others:
- What do you wish they would do more of? (Power Questions)
- If this went away, what would life be like?
- How long has this been going on? Why?
- What have you already tried?
- What happens if this doesn’t go away?
- How could you change this situation? (Coaching for engagement)
When solving problems:
- What were we doing when we were successful at this? What was different about those times? (Coaching for Engagement)
- Who else has faced this challenge?
- What have you tried?
- How certain do you need to be before you take the next step?
- Who is impacted by this issue? How?
- A year from now, if we have failed, what didn’t we do? (Scaling Up Excellence)
When striving to connect?
- What makes you feel good/proud about what you’re doing?
- What surprises you about the leadership journey?
- What else would you like to accomplish? (Power Questions)
- What’s important about this?
- What does a win look like?
- What do you want?
- What should I be asking?
- How can I help? (Touch Points)
What are your favorite questions?
Think of a leadership encounter/situation and suggest a question that suits it.