Being an impactful leader is, among other things, about asking the right questions. So, when you ask a good question (or good questions), what are the results?
Do you gain:
- Clarity of message.
- Allocated resources.
- Measurable work.
When asked, business professionals voted equally and predominantly for the first two options. Which means that most of the time, business leaders and professional use questions to create meaningful, productive, and valuable conversations to reach their goals.
This concept of questions comes up over and over again. We think about it concerning creativity, innovation, and most importantly, our growth strategy and how we remain relevant to our customers.
For decades research has shown that leaders who lead by asking questions always see improvements in different parts of their business. Strategically, the time taken to ask good questions is returned in more productivity and higher-functioning teams later down the road.
There’s a purpose within those specific actions. When we have purpose-driven conversations and lead with questions, we get more of the right opportunities for the right time. We’re taking the path forward.
“I think you have to be very, very intentional when setting things up. What’s fantastic is when you find team members who can shape the company themselves too. To come to me with the right questions and with ideas that we can look at together." – Brandi Bernoskie, Founder and Digital Strategist, Alchemy + Aim
“We have our strengths. We have our weaknesses. Why continue to work with our weaknesses? Why not collaborate with someone who can supplement that weakness with a strength. The solopreneur has to have that understanding." – David Leopold, SmallBizDavid
“Businesses face challenges any day of the week. If you don’t have a solid foundation underneath the company, you will have a lot harder time growing, scaling, and [you are] going to have survival issues, if nothing else. Make sure you’re grounded well enough to move forward with them." – Jeff Chastain, Founder, Business Coach and EOS Implementer, Admentus, Inc.
“Try and be logical as well, too, because emotions will send you into a spin. You have to be sure you’re going to be afraid. But continue to be logical and think through things as much as possible because your emotions will drag you down into, you know, the darkest corners. – Jeff Bermant, Founder & CEO, Virtual World Computing
“I think all of us have places in our life where we resist and then places where we have more patience. So from the places that I’m still resisting, it feels very much like a chase, like I’m chasing answers, or solutions, instead of accepting some of the internal wisdom and then taking other data points and coming up with something else." – Jenn Olson, Founder and CEO, DVLP Solutions
“You have to find people you can talk to that you can trust and who [are] going to give you unbiased answers. No one, including myself, makes decisions in a vacuum. I do put thought into it. I’m a big believer that all of us are smarter than any of us. It’s great if there’s somebody in the organization with a vision and can think six, seven chess moves ahead, bounced around because there [will] always be unintended consequences." – Andrew Podner, Founder Atlas Precision Consulting, LLC
“The elements of a good question are figuring out what you need to find out and then reverse the language and turn that into a question. What do you really need to know? And then just ask the question. The key is to go below the surface."- Elizabeth Bachman, CEO Strategic Speaking for Results
“Asking questions like, “Is there anything that you would add?” are very critical primarily because it allows that person to be part of the conversation and feel like they contributed to the final conclusion" – Max Irzhak, Digital Strategist National Society of Leadership and Success
“I think everyone already has all the power within them to do various things. And, as a so-called leader, or coach or listener, or whatever you do, all I’m doing is helping them open the doors to their own efficacy." – Mickey Desai, Founder and Host Nonprofit Snapshot
As additional reading material, I suggest the following articles:
Quit Answering, Start Asking – BOLD Business Podcast
3 Questions Business Leaders Should Ask Themselves During The Pandemic – by CEO Today Magazine
Good Leadership Is About Asking Good Questions – by John Hagel III, HBR
As A Leader, Are You Asking The Right Questions – by Jarret Jackson, Forbes