39 Questions Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Ask

Guest Post by Melody Wilding

39 Questions to Ask in Meetings and One-on-Ones

To you help you, here is a list of questions I share with my clients.

When you want someone’s reaction to information

  • What do you make of what I’ve shared?
  • What do you think is best?
  • How does this look to you?
  • What would you add or change?
  • How do you feel about it?
  • What’s your impression of X?
  • How does this fit into your plans?

When you need clarification

  • What do you mean?
  • What does it feel like?
  • What is the part that is not yet clear?
  • What do you want?
  • What’s your desired outcome?

When you want someone to elaborate

  • Can you tell me more?
  • What else?
  • What other ideas/thoughts/feelings do you have about it?
  • What is an example?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how urgent/serious is X?
  • What is the hardest/most challenging part for you?

When you want someone to think outside the box

  • What is here that we want to explore?
  • What part of the situation have we not yet explored?
  • What other angles can you think of?
  • What are our other options?
  • What assumptions can we let go of?
  • What’s the best outcome we can imagine?

When you want to understand why something happened

  • What contributed/caused it?
  • What led up to it?
  • What have you tried so far?
  • What did we learn from X?
  • How could you turn this around next time?

When you want someone to implement or follow-through

  • What is the action plan?
  • What could be our first step?
  • What progress have you made so far?
  • What support do you need to accomplish it?
  • What could get in the way?

When someone is naysaying or resistant to ideas

  • Before we get into drawbacks, can you share some reasons you think this will work?
  • What suggestions do you have for improvement?
  • What would you like to see change for the better?
  • What’s working right now?
  • Let’s operate from the assumption that we will be successful. How does that shift your perspective and ideas about what to do next?


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