Since the first part of The Art of Asking Good Questions sparked such a great discussion I thought it was only suitable to write a follow up post. In part 1 of the post we discussed how we can implement open-ended and clarifying questions to better connect and strength our relationships during a conversation.
Thomas Berger said, “
1. Inward life questions- Asking inward questions can help you reveal the inner workings of a person; it allows you to identify their personality, character, and deep heart qualities. The questions can help you learn about a person’s values, beliefs, and convictions. Though it takes time to learn about who a person is on the inside their actions and attitude can be a great indicator of their inward thoughts and life. This is because the person on the inside, good or bad, shows through in their behaviors and attitude.
Ask questions that will help you learn about what drives and motivates them as well as ones that will reveal their attitude about life. Examples of these questions include:
- “What drives you forward or toward success?”
- “How have you overcome the obstacles life throws at you?”
- “What do you think about ________?” (Something going on in the organization, like a major change).
- “What do you want to achieve in your career and personal life.”
Passion questions- This is personally one of my favorite types of questions. Asking a question similar to, “If money or time where not an issue what would you do?” This can help you learn about the other person’s passions, ambitions, and dreams. If you follow this question with open-ended or clarifying questions you will dig deeper into what the person’s personal passions include.
If you’re able you should allow the person to work in areas of personal passions while at work (if at all feasible and appropriate). For example, if one of your team members is passionate about connecting and building relationships with other people but they are behind a computer all day, if possible you should move them into a different department or allow them to spend some time in front of the customers or clients if it is possible. This will not be feasible in every situation, but if your able to have your people work in areas of passions you will see an increase of energy and enthusiasm from them. At the very least you should support and encourage them to focus on their passion outside of work.
Questions: Have you used either of these types of questions in your life or leadership? Can you add to the list?