Guest Post by Phil Krone

Note from Bob:  Enter our 2016 Five Favorite Questions to Ask at Thanksgiving Contest – details at the bottom of today’s post!

All leaders have more opportunities and challenges than they have time, money, and other resources to address. What sets great leaders apart is their ability to consistently make decisions that create the greatest impact for the organization. Their decisions get the biggest bang for the buck from their limited assets. How do they do it?

If you are a regular reader of Bob’s blog you know that great leaders ask great questions. What you may not know is why that makes such a difference.

The reason is that great leaders think in terms of implication: “How will these opportunities impact our business or organization? How much are these challenges costing us?”

Without asking specific questions to get specific answers they need, leaders can’t fully understand the implications of one decision versus another.

Great leaders know that being aware of opportunities and challenges isn’t enough. They also need to be aware of the known—and unknown—implications. Asking questions that access the insights and expertise of others is essential.

Thinking in terms of implication, listening for implication, and asking questions about implication is the most efficient path to gain competitive advantage. Here’s another way to think about it:

  • Users think in terms of features and benefits.
  • Leaders in decision making think in terms of implication.

In our FOCIS® Selling class we help participants write questions that uncover implications and create value for everyone in the conversation. We provide a guide to the types of discovery questions, the most effective sequence in which to ask them,  and how many of each type to ask and when. The result is good decision-making. We have identified 18 ways leaders can create value for themselves and those they lead through a discovery process that supports effective decision-making.

Great leaders know that to truly think in terms of implication they must somehow discover what they don’t know they don’t know—that is, the unknown unknown. The best way to do that is to learn to think in terms of implication, learn to develop good questions that uncover those implications, and learn to ask those questions in the right way.

phil-cronePhil Krone, President of Productive Strategies, Inc. a management and marketing consulting firm based in Northfield, Illinois that helps business-to-business companies increase revenues through consultative sales training and customized sales process development; lead generation and appointment setting; and marketing and marketing communications. Contact: pkrone@productivestrategies.com and 847-446-0008 Ext. 1.

 

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In 7 days you (Americans) will be sitting down to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with your family and friends.

What questions would you like to ask those gathered at your table to take the conversation beyond the weather, the roads, shopping and football?

To enter the “Contest” simply share “Your Favorite Question to Ask at Thanksgiving” in the “Comment” section below:

Subscribers please click “Here” to locate your comment box.

b-cd-bIf your question is selected as one of the “The Five Most Favorite Questions to Ask at Thanksgiving” you will win a real printed “Great Leaders ASK Questions – A Fortune 100 List” book and audio book CD!  (Offer is limited to U.S. addresses)

Winners will be announced in a Special Thanksgiving “LeadingWithQuestions” Post next Wednesday, November 23.

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