Hire people who ask questions. They’re smarter than people who don’t.
Some leaders don’t have time for questions. Others are afraid of questions. They think, “What if I don’t have the answer?”
Some team members worry that questions make them look stupid.
Smart people don’t know-it-all. They learn-it-all.
4 benefits of curiosity:
- Learn quicker – questions signal openness.
- Achieve more – curiosity innovates.
- Engage fully – curious people seek novelty.
- Connect powerfully – questions invite people into relationship.
“… curiosity-induced behaviors such as information seeking play a meaningful role in workplace learning as well as in job performance. Reio
5 ways to respond to questions:
The best way to respond to questions is with encouragement.
#1. Pause and relax.
Don’t give quick answers. Sometimes you know the answer before the question is finished. Pause anyway. Smile. Relax.
A pause indicates interest.
A smile lets people know they matter.
#2. Respond to questions with questions.
You think you understand the question but you probably don’t.
- Why is this important to you? (Use ‘why’ gently. It might feel like an accusation.)
- What makes this matter to you?
#3. Affirm question-askers.
Asking questions creates vulnerability. An employee wonders what the boss thinks of them.
Let people know smart people ask questions.
- It takes insight to ask questions like that.
- That’s a great question.
- I’m glad you asked.
#4. Expand and clarify questions.
- Could you ask that question a different way?
- Here’s what I hear you asking. Am I on target?
#5. Use body language to encourage questions.
- Raise your eyebrows in curiosity.
- Lean in and then lean back.
- Say, “Hmmm,” or “Huh.” (Thanks Stan Endicott.)
Respond to questions in ways that create more questions.
“Never pride yourselves on teaching a great number of things. Rest content to rouse curiosity.” Anatole France
How do leaders discourage questions?
How can leaders encourage questions?