How Do You Respond?

Excerpted from “Chapter 8” of “Now That’s A Great Question.”

Scenario: One of your staff comes to you with a problem and asks you what they should do. You know exactly what they should do! How are you most likely to respond?

The truth is that, most of us—being a lot more practiced at “Telling” than “Asking”—are likely to simply tell them what to do. One of my former supervisors—responding to this exact scenario—shared that he would tell them what to do, and he would also feel proud
that he knew the answer, and hoped they would be impressed with his wisdom! His truthfulness was refreshing!

Same Scenario: Instead of simply telling them what to do, what are some questions you might ask them?

  • Can you please tell me more?
  • What do you think would be the best solution?
  • What about a couple of other options?
  • Now that you have placed several options on the table, which one do you think would be best? (Don’t be surprised if they come up with another option that is really a combination of the ones they already shared.)
  • Sounds like a great solution! Now, to move that from “idea” to “reality,” what do your first three steps need to be?
  • What potential “roadblocks” or “hurdles” might you encounter?
  • How might you respond to each of them?
  • So when are you going to pull the trigger?
  • Summarize: May I feed back to you what I have heard?
    • The problem is ___________
    • The solution you have chosen is ______________
    • Potential “roadblocks” and “hurdles” you might encounter are _____________
    • To respond to the “roadblocks” and “hurdles” you are going to _____________
    • Your first three steps are going to be _________________
    • And you are going to begin ______________________
    • What would you add?_______________________
  • (What additional questions would you add?)

What are the potential benefits of responding with questions?

  • They grow more.
  • It would be easier for them to implement a solution they came up with.
  • Their self-confidence grows.
  • They will be more likely to solve the next problem they encounter without your assistance.
  • You will be developing Leaders, not Followers.

What else?

May I suggest an assignment to help you sharpen your “Leading
with Questions” skills?

As soon as possible afterwards, write down your thoughts and observations of what just happened and how it went.

Then, to help all of us sharpen our “Leading with Questions” skills, share your experience with me by emailing bob.tiede@cru.org.

Your story just might appear in a future blog post on LeadingWithQuestions.com.

You have just read “Chapter 8” from “Now That’s a Great Question.”  You can request your free download of the entire book to read the other 29 Chapters by clicking “HERE!”

 

Bob Tiede

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob has been on the staff of Cru for 49 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 7 remarkable grandchildren.

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