Asking questions is one of the most underrated activities of a leader; however, I believe asking questions is the cornerstone of all leadership. There are at least two reasons why leaders don’t ask questions:
- Pride prevents it – As leaders, we feel like we’re supposed to have all the answers. In my experience, though, the best leaders don’t have the best answers, they facilitate the process of discovering the best answers. There have been many times where I have come up with awful solutions that could have been prevented if I had just asked a couple questions.
- It takes a lot of time – Question asking takes a lot more time than directing people to do your will. Leadership is relational, though, so I challenge you to take the time to ask the hard questions.
And there are two reasons why you should ask many questions:
- It creates trust – Craig Groeschel always says that “people would rather work for someone who’s always real than one who’s always right.” People trust people who ask questions and care about what they have to say. It shows authenticity and vulnerability.
- It helps you get to the source of issues quickly – instead of speculating about issues, a few well pointed questions (as hard as they may be) will get you to the source of issues you may not even know about. The operative words: well pointed.
When’s the last time you asked one of your team members a question and genuinely cared about the answer? What are some ways you can improve your question asking abilities?