We have all heard that there are no stupid questions. But the truth is some questions are better than others. Asking the right questions can remove the barriers to creative thinking and direct the pursuit of solutions into different, previously unconsidered directions. A great question can ignite an idea or solution. So, how do you ask questions that get your team's wheels turning?
1. Ask open-ended questions. Questions you can answer "yes" or "no" are closed-ended. They don't generate discussion, and they rarely yield any insight.
2. Get both sides of the story. There is often more than one crucial perspective.
3. Mentor by asking questions instead of talking about yourself. Put your ego aside and help your mentee discover their insights about themselves by asking them what they have learned or why individual decisions or opportunities have left them unsettled.
4. Ask follow-up questions. Remember, feelings aren't facts. Make sure there is a basis for your assumptions.
5. Enjoy the Silence. That awkward silence? Embrace it. Review your notes and prep another question while you wait.
Asking the right questions can help your team members grow and develop in meaningful ways and bring better, agile decision-making to your organization.
How do you use insightful questions?