Last week in Powerful Questions for Powerful Leadership, we offered you a series of questions that can help you invite higher levels of input and expand critical thinking.
We reminded you that, at Carpenter Smith Consulting, we define leadership as the willingness to influence your world and the willingness to be influenced by your world, which often means that you’ll need to invite influence.
One powerful way to create the dynamic where you’re influencing people and they’re influencing you, is to ask powerful questions. The tricky part is that questioning people without attention to the nuance of the situation can feel more like an interrogation than an invitation.
Asking questions to invite higher level thinking requires that you consider what’s right for the person(s), situation, and goals in that moment, and that you communicate verbally and non-verbally that you’re genuinely curious and want their thinking to influence your thinking.
The following questions can invite your teams and colleagues to explore what they can do to get the best out of their people and their teams.
QUESTIONS TO FOSTER ENGAGEMENT
- Do your people / teams know that they matter to you–that you care about them personally and that you value their contributions to the organization?
- How will you know your team is aligned behind this vision? What would team success look like?
- How can this team work together more effectively? How will we handle difference, conflict, and crises together?
- What can I do to support you? What can I do that will support you without diminishing your credibility to our stakeholders?
- What are you doing to increase your ability to have the impact that matters to you?
- What needs to be said that you find yourself not saying?
- Do we have the right people, with the right skills, and the right commitment at the right tables?
- Why would great talent join or remain on your team?
- Who are your high potential employees and what are you doing to grow them?
- Who needs to take the lead on this and why?
- Is the infrastructure in place to support the team? What needs our attention and resources?
We’ve witnessed the power that great questions have to create opportunities for innovation, problem solving, and higher levels of thinking.
We created a printable pdf so that you can access all of the powerful questions. Click here to download.
This week consider ways you can move from talking at people to engaging them in deeper conversations. Talking at people can seem efficient, and at times it may be, but asking questions brings people to greater ownership of success and engagement in the solutions.