Before Any Question
Before any question you ask, it must first occur to ask it. All the books, white papers, blogs you read and experts you listen to to improve your questioning skill are of no value if the thought of asking a question never crosses your mind. What makes a person good and questioning is curiosity. Curiosity is motivated by care and concern. So to be a master questioner, you must first care. If you don’t care, don’t even bother buying the book.
Curiosity driven by care will propel you to finish reading this blog and watching the video because you Just Want To Know (IJWTK). What makes a leader good at asking questions about their team, situations, circumstances, is that they care. They care about the organization, the team, hard working people, and yes, they care about themselves. So what do they do, they ask questions to move forward.
When was the last time you asked anybody a question about geology at the center of the earth. Most of you would say never because who cares. I frequently get asked if I recycle by people who care about the environment because their care makes them curious.
Questioning is five percent skill and ninety-five percent frame of mind. Questioning is more awareness than skill. If you the leader have a brand new employee at any level, and you really want them to assimilate into the culture and add confidence to their decision to join your team, ask them a question like “what have you discovered about your team in these first 90 days?”. Help a direct report manage conflict with a question like “describe what you struggle with when you lead meetings?” Only somebody who cares would even ask that.
What do you care about? Who do you care about? At what level do you really care? Engaging leaders engage people with good questions because they care. Think about somebody you care about right now, and use that power to go ask them a good question to let them know.