Having and maintaining relationships is essential when it comes to leadership. One essential aspect to learning about, connecting with, and relating to the people in your life comes through the art of asking good questions. Rosalie Maggio said this about the benefits of good question asking: ” Questions allow you to find out about other people, to keep a conversation going, and to show you are interested in what people are saying.”
When it comes to starting or strengthening a relationship we have to remember to ask good questions during our conversations. This is an essential ingredient to becoming a relational leader. I have found we must know and remember to implement open-ended questions and clarifying questions. Let’s further discuss them:
Ask open-ended questions-
To connect and learn about someone I recommend engaging other in open-ended questions. These questions can lead to a better discussion and a deeper level of conversation. This is because they require more than a “yes” or “no” response. One example is: “What are some of the problems or issues you’re facing with your project?” Rather than asking something like “is your project on track?” Or “how is the project going?” Keep in mind this type of question is not relevant in every conversation or situation.But a leader who wants or needs to know about the facts or details of something specific can leverage this question to get a desired answer faster. It also keeps a conversation alive and flowing.
Ask questions to clarify-
These questions bring clarity or clarification to what the other person is saying. It also shows you’re engaged in the conversation. A few examples include:
- Can you be more specific?
- How does that make you feel?
- Can you share an example?
- What do you really mean by that?
Taking several college counseling classes I have seen the importance and benefits from asking these types of questions. Every leader would benefit from implementing this type of question. Remember the words of Arthur Bloch who said, “Every clarification breeds new questions.”
Even though theses are basic question asking principles they can be a valuable tool for a leader.
Questions: Are you intentional about implementing these questions into your conversation? Can you add to the list?