“Asking good questions is productive, positive, creative, and can get us what we want”. Most people believe this quote to be true and yet people do not ask enough good questions. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that effective questioning requires it be combined with effective listening at the same time.
The more quality of your questions, the more quality of the answers you will get so we better to ask the right questions.
The most effective and empowering questions create value in one or more of the following ways:
- They create clarity: i.e. “Can you explain more about this situation?”
- They construct better working relations: i.e. Instead of “Did you make your sales goal?” ask, “How have sales been going?”
- They help people think analytically and critically: “What are the consequences of going this route?”
- They inspire people to reflect and see things in fresh, unpredictable ways: i.e. “Why did this work?”
- They encourage breakthrough thinking: i.e. “Can that be done in any other way?”
- They challenge assumptions: i.e. “What do you think you will lose if you start sharing responsibility for the implementation process?”
- They create ownership of solutions: i.e. “Based on your experience, what do you suggest we do here?”
Whether or not your own effort will generate the impact right question did, it will significantly influence your ability to produce the kind of products, services and outcomes that people will love.