Scenario:

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

Truth is—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 not only would he tell them what to do, 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?

  • Please tell me more?
  • What do you think would be the best solution?
  • What might be 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 will need to be your first three steps?
  • 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?

  • Might they grow more?
  • Might it be easier for them to implement a solution they came up with?
  • Might their self-confidence grow?
  • Might they be more likely to solve the next problem they encounter without your assistance?
  • What else?

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

This week look for opportunities to respond with questions when Staff/Family/Friends bring you a problem, instead of responding with answers.

  • 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, please come back here to share your experience in a comment below.

 

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.

MORE RECENT POSTS

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions – What Are You Asking?

Guest Post by Janice Bastani What are the #1 Questions for your Team? What do you think the question is?...

Do You Have a Hard Time Saying “No”?

Excerpted from Chapter 24 of “Now That’s a Great Question.” Click HERE to listen to Chapter...

The Essence of Your Job

Excerpted with the permission of the authors from Chapter 18 of Power Questions: I’m at lunch with my...

Great Leaders Ask Great Questions

Guest Post by Richard Blackaby I went to school for 24 years. I should have liked it, but I must confess that...

ASKING GREAT QUESTIONS IS BETTER THAN FINDING SIMPLE ANSWERS

Guest Post by Drew Browne People usually try to understand things in terms of what they already know. This is...

THE ART OF ASKING POWERFUL QUESTIONS

Excerpted from Chapter Two of “Leadership for Sustainability Powered by Questions” by Thomas...

SUSTAINABILITY – AS MINDSET AND ETHICAL CLAIM

Excerpted from Chapter One of “Leadership for Sustainability Powered by Questions” by Thomas...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.