Q&A: Asking the Right Questions

Q:

I never seem to know what questions to ask and/or I sometimes feel I may come across as being uninformed in a group setting so don’t participate like I should. What is a good way to ask questions?

– Larry, Construction Industry

A:

Asking good questions, next to good listening skills, is key to good leadership. If you ask good questions you can solve problems, influence the outcome and manage tough situations.

Knowing the person’s personality with whom you are speaking and knowing where they are coming from is critical in getting the information you require to solve your need for information. Focus on them and not yourself!

Ask open-ended questions such as “what or how do we manage that…” Don’t ask “why” questions unless it is essential for a successful outcome – this can become annoying and seem you are challenging them – but do ask if it is germane to the outcome of the subject matter.

Keep your questions short and simple. When speaking as a team use the word “we” in lieu of “I” – this includes when the team is needed for resolution. Remember, speak confidently and there is no right or wrong question if you need data to answer your need for information.

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Jeanne Reaves

By Jeanne Reaves
At Jeanne Reaves Consulting, Jeanne specializes in coaching executives in a variety of industries. As a certified Personality Consultant, Jeanne employs technology and techniques to help her clients understand their executive teams’ unique abilities, maximize their productivity and manage them more effectively to enhance earnings.