Being able to ask high quality and powerful questions is a critical skill for effective leadership. Questioning seems like it is an easy and obvious skill. But too often people confuse, speaking, telling instructing and giving advice with questioning. It is an advanced skill to be able to use inquiry to facilitate the self-actualization in another, which is one of the desired outcomes of leadership right?
The art of questioning allows us to ask powerful questions that will invite the listener to go inside and to find or create the answer for themselves. This creates a more memorable experience for the listener and also ownership of his or her outcomes.
Most of us would like to think that we’re able to ask the occasional great question, but if I asked you, why is it important to ask powerful questions? What are the skills required to ask quality questions? And what kinds of questions are the best questions to ask? Would you know how to answer these questions? And more importantly, would you be able to engage in some high-level questioning skills?
In this blog I will share the benefits of asking powerful questions, the different type of questions you can ask to gain different types of information, and what key skills you will need to develop in order to ask quality questions in the moment when it really counts, taking your leadership to its next level.
Powerful questions allow us to understand, to connect, to clarify and more importantly to get to the heart of a matter. If we continue to ask surface questions, we will continue to get surface answers. If we want to truly understand or investigate something fully, then we must be willing to go to the depths with our questioning, to uncover what is really going on.
With powerful questions you can gather highly valuable information to learn more, you can build stronger rapport and relationships with others, and you can lead people more effectively and assist them to learn and grow. Here are five specific benefits that arise from asking powerful questions…
Powerful questions impact us, they awaken us, and they change us.
What’s the most powerful question you’ve ever been asked?
Well that really depends on the type of information you are looking for. Different questions will illicit different responses. We find it is always best to ask the question that is most relevant, timely, and specific to the content as possible. For questions to be really powerful and transformational they are personal and experiential, motivating, meaningful and evoke engagement in the listener.
Remember that communication is the response you get. If you are asking questions that are not getting you the information you need, then they may not be high quality questions. Remember, it is important to build and maintain rapport when asking questions, it is important to keep things tentative (otherwise it may as well be a statement), and it is important not to set the listener up for failure whilst asking a question.
Asking powerful questions is a skill which means it can be learned. It is important to practice asking questions to become masterful at it. Here are our top three things you can practice which we believe will allow your questioning skills to reach superpower status.
Test your questioning skills now… go and spend 10 minutes speaking with a colleague and ask powerful questions throughout your conversation. If you would like to learn more about how to ask powerful questions, contact Modo today to ask about our Evolved Communication Training Program.
References: Meta Coaching – Dr Michael Hall.
Tamara Pickard is an Executive Coach, Trainer and a Managing Director of Modo Coaching and Training, with many years of experience leading large organisations. Tamara is a certified Meta-Coach, Master NLP practitioner and experienced Enneagram facilitator, and her passion is to facilitate people to discover and actualise their highest potentials in their personal and professional lives.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.