2 Ways to Ask Questions Like an Expert

A leader who doesn’t ask questions is a know-it-all with a closed mind.

“My greatest strength is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” Peter Drucker

A leader who doesn't ask questions is a know-it-all with a closed mind. Image of a prison cell.

7 things good questions do:

  1. Build rapport.
  2. Unlock minds.
  3. Discover new ideas.
  4. Create unexpected value.
  5. Encourage learning.
  6. Gain respect. Impress the boss by asking smart questions.
  7. Inspire creativity and innovation.

2 Ways to Ask Questions Like an Expert

#1. Ask questions frequently.

The path to expertise begins with repetition.

A person who becomes an expert has done something many times. But leading many meetings doesn’t make you an expert at leading meetings.

Focused practice makes you an expert.

  1. Set aside the first five minutes of your next conversation to do nothing but ask questions.
  2. Ask people what questions you should be asking.
  3. Spend time crafting a few questions before your next meeting. You think too much about things to say and not about things to ask.
The higher you go, the more questions matter. Image looking up at tall trees.

#2. Follow questions with questions.

The second question yields better results than the first.

Ask a new employee, “What do you do for fun?” Avoid the seduction of stealing the conversation. Don’t respond with, “I have fun when ….” Instead ask…

“What got you interested in (Insert the thing they do for fun here. Say, sky diving.)?”

Use the speaker’s own words. People prefer their words to yours. Don’t say, “What got you interested in that?” Instead ask, “What got you interested in sky diving?”

First questions address obvious issues. Second questions explore meaning, purpose, method, and value.

First question: What’s your mission?
Second question: What makes your mission matter?

First question: Who are your best customers?
Second question: What made them become your customers?

First question: What’s frustrating?
Second question: How can you address your frustrations?

Why don’t leaders ask more questions?

How can leaders become experts at asking questions?

Still curious:

Life is About Questions

Questions Proactive People Ask

Source of the Drucker quote: How to Consult Like Peter Drucker