The Power of Asking Questions
Leading means creating communication that has impact. Questions increase our impact when they result in new solutions and development. Children think in questions, but they learn early to deliver quick answers for apparent success. The conscious examination of the questioner’s attitude and of the questioning process leads to increased leadership effectiveness.
Small children still think in questions, but at the very latest, this declines when they reach elementary school. In both school and the working world, it becomes increasingly difficult to ask questions. When we find ourselves competing, we have to deliver questions and answers more and more quickly. However, questions seem to slow down this process. We soon become accustomed to keeping up with the pace in our professional, economic, and private circles, and to delivering, rather than turning briefly inward and then asking a question.
Questions Make a Difference
On the path toward truly new solutions, questions can actually be more productive than answers from a manager. Overwhelmed by information, we need a filter in order to assess what is being offered and what is redundant. What is important? What is certain? What is fake? The context will determine it.
Questions help us view a topic or task from a different perspective. They are a way to achieve critical discernment, and they help us to turn off our “autopilot” and to view the familiar with new eyes. Solutions found too quickly only fulfill our own rational causal connections. We gravitate toward what we know or what we can efficiently research. By doing so, we neglect important aspects. This danger can be minimized by asking questions, rather than by acting upon seemingly quick solutions.
Questions Create Value
Even more important is that the process of exchanging ideas between the person asking questions and the person answering them adds value to our conversation partner; the sense of “us” becomes central. Thus it becomes clear that we depend upon one another.
The one who asks questions takes a risk, and becomes vulnerable. Precisely because of this, mutual trust grows.
Areas of Application and Aim
The two-day compact program is aimed toward managers, teams, and department heads, as well as project leaders from all sectors. This mini-program fits in very well as a module of a multi-part leadership program.
Many leaders tell, instruct, delegate, and present, rather than asking questions. Asking the right questions and showing authentic interest in the answers leads to deeper trust, greater creativity, and innovation.
Questions add value to the conversation partner. The sense of “us” becomes central.
Leadership communication of increased quality develops employees and management.
The manager takes on the role of a coach when asking questions, and achieves greater certainty and the assumption of responsibility.
Conversations, meetings, workshops, and projects gain efficacy and have higher quality results.
The USP Leadership Experts Approach
USP Leadership Coaches approach their work as a process. This compact mini-program consists of an effective kick-off that integrates and prepares the participants, a 1½ to 2 day seminar, as well as a transfer-ensuring review after 4 – 6 weeks that secures the new attitude and techniques in their everyday leadership.