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 http://www.fastcompany.com/3003945/one-conversational-tool-will-make-you-better-absolutely-everything