Are You a Team Leader? Then Let Me Ask You: What Type of Questions Are You Asking Your Team Members?
How come questions have that much power?
The thing is, great questions can make people feel involved or recognized. They can also motivate them to contribute to organizational goals. Moreover, the right questions can be that small push employees need to go a step further.
Leaders who understand the power behind questions don’t only nurture high-performing teams. They also facilitate growth, productivity, and, most importantly, results.
Which questions can we call powerful?
When we think about question types, we can classify them as either closed or open-ended.
In coaching, we believe that open-ended questions hold the most power. But, this does not mean that a yes or no question can’t have the same effect. Depending on your goals, you’ll need to choose the effect you wish to have on your interlocutor. You see, it’s not just about asking. It’s very much about active listening as well.
So, this means that the most powerful question is the one that helps you achieve what you set out to do.
If we think about words like Who, When, Where, Which, etc., we’ll find that they offer quite a limited space for answers. This doesn’t mean they’re inefficient, however. They’re best used when we need quick implementations, when we need to close an agreement, or when we’re looking for facts to help with our decisions.
What, How, What if, on the other hand, are on the other end of the spectrum. These words require open-ended answers. They boost creativity, curiosity, and are particularly efficient when we’re trying to understand a problem, come up with new ideas, or make plans. They can also help us when we’re stuck in a rut or when we need creative solutions. Their power lies in the fact that they’re always welcome. They stimulate our internal resources, leading us towards better, safer, more confident, and productive solutions.