How to Fuel Energy and Explore Possibility
The need for a quick solution prevents leaders from asking powerful questions.
What if questions are more powerful than statements?
#1. Ignite curiosity.
Curiosity comes before solution and innovation.
You know you’ve been asked a powerful question when it causes you to pause and wonder. Your eyes go to the ceiling. Your brain lights up.
#2. Uncover new insights.
The rehashing of old ideas produces stability at first and stagnation in the end.
- And what else?
- What questions should I be asking? (Use this when you aren’t sure what to ask.)
#3. Explore vision and values.
The challenge of busyness is losing sight of what matters. We’ve all ended the day wondering what we accomplished.
- What makes this important to you?
- Where will you be in a month if you continue on your current path?
- How did you live your values today?
#4. Consider possibilities, not simply problems.
Getting lost in problems is a deadly seduction of leadership. Yes, leaders help solve problems. But more importantly, leaders explore possibilities.
- If you weren’t solving this problem, what opportunity would you seize?
- If you didn’t have these problems to solve, what would you do?
- What might a new CEO do to move your organization forward?
#5. Generate positive energy.
- What would you like to do about that?
- What do you really want?
- How can I help?
- What will be different if you succeed?
#6. Begin with “what”, “how”, or “who”.
Yes or no questions call for short responses. A “what” question invites a conversation.
Avoid questions that begin with:
- Wouldn’t you…?
- Are you…?
- Shouldn’t you…?
“What makes your job fulfilling?” is better than, “Do you like your job?”
“When are you most energized?” is better than, “Are you energized?”
Warning: “Why” questions may sound like accusations.
How might leaders craft powerful questions?
What would you like people to ask you?