That’s a good question, Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote about the importance of asking questions.  There have been a couple of occasions since when I should have taken my own advice.  It’s an ongoing quest to listen more, and be sure that when I talk I have something worth saying.  I know I have never regretted asking a good question.  So here’s my personal reminder for the new year:  Listen first, then ask a really good question.

A professional colleague recently sent me the following article from Fast Company.  It’s a great argument for the importance of questions as a leadership tool.  The author includes this summary of key elements of great questions:

     Shane Snow’s Great Questions at a Glance

  • Don’t ramble on–terminate the sentence at the question mark.
  • Get comfortable with silence.
  • Start with “who, what, when, where, how, or why” for more meaningful answers.
  • Don’t fish for the answer you want.
  • Stop nodding if you don’t understand–ask a follow-up instead.
  • If you get a non-answer, approach it again from a different angle.
  • Rephrase the answer in your own words.
  • Don’t be afraid to a ask dumb question.

As a leader, attentive listening and seeking to understand other people’s point of view are important skills to cultivate.  Being more skillful in the questions I ask is one way to get there.

Source:  Snow, S. (2012, December 17). The one conversational tool that will make you better at absolutely everything.  Fast Company. Downloaded from


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