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The Best Leaders Ask Questions That Work

A question asked at the wrong time is a dumb question. Questions that work fit the situation.

Questions have direction. Questions that work have the right destination.

Tip: Determine where you want to go before you ask a question.

Questions that work:

Questions that clarify goals:

A month from now things are going perfectly. What are you doing? What are others doing? What aren’t you doing?

Frustration tells you what you don’t want. What do you want?

Questions that establish processes:

What’s the next step? Tip: Don’t ask about next steps before you clarify goals.

If things were going perfectly, what would be true on a day-to-day basis?

A month from now, this problem has vanished. What happened? What isn’t happening?

Questions that enable self-reflection:

What are you doing that makes you proud?

How do you want your clients to think of you?

What makes this important to you?

Your eyes just lit up. What’s going on for you?

Questions that overcome reluctance:

What do you get if you do nothing?

What’s the bravest thing you could do today? Short timelines narrow focus and lower anxiety.

What needs to be true for you to take action on this?

One a scale of 0 to 10 how ready are you to act? Why didn’t you choose a lower number? This set of questions helps people find reasons to act.

What small thing could you do this morning to move forward?

Questions that establish accountability:

Use ‘you’ when establishing accountability. Don’t say ‘we’ when you mean ‘you’.

What have you tried?

When will this be done?

Who is responsible to get this done?

When will you take the next step?

What do you want me to ask you when we meet next week?

Enter conversations with more questions than answers.

What questions that work might you add to the above lists?

Added resources:

15 Questions that Change the Way People Think

Leadership Questions to Ask

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