You Only Get Answers to the Questions You Ask
In our previous blog last week, we reviewed the first four benefits outlined in Maxwell's book, "Good Leaders Ask Great Questions":
1. You only get answers to the questions you ask.
2. Questions unlock and open doors that otherwise remain closed.
3. Questions are the most effective means of connecting with people.
4. Questions cultivate humility.
This blog explores more reasons to embrace questions as part of strong leadership.
5. Questions help you engage others in conversation.
The best way to get people talking is to ask them great questions. There are so many great, outside-of-the-box questions you could ask.
Here is one example: "If you had 30 minutes to spend with any person alive today, who would that be, and why?"
You could also organize a dinner with a group of like-minded people in your industry and keep the conversation moving by asking great questions. Everyone at the table could learn and grow while also enjoying time together.
6. Questions allow us to build better ideas.
Your idea + my idea = a third idea better that any idea either of us could come up with alone.
Ask someone about the failure that shaped their life. Ask about their greatest learning experience. By being curious, you help build better ideas and bring value to the experience of everyone around you.
7. Questions give us a different perspective.
We often believe that other people are good at the same things we are good at. We believe they have the same perspective, skill set, energy and big-picture thinking as we do. But that is just not true and questions help set the record straight.
We need to slow down, relax and ask more questions before attempting to define someone else's perspective.
8. Questions challenge mind-sets and get you out of ruts.
As John Maxwell says, the future belongs to the curious. He tells us that asking questions is a great way to prevent mental laziness and move ourselves out of a rut.
Have you ever noticed that almost all of the TED.com speakers start their talk with a "why" question?
That's because questions are powerful. Check out a few of the TED talks to see how leaders can be stimulated by great questions, and how these same questions pique their audience's interest.
- Before attending a meeting, prepare a list of questions that you will ask.
- Try the concept of shared thinking described in this blog and see how ideas get better when the right people have a chance to add to them.
- Don't assume; ask questions.
The best is yet to come. It starts with you!