In our culture of telling, to ask can be judged as ignorance while leaders are supposed to know what to do. Telling is expected and respected. And it feels so good to give advice, thinking we have solved someone else’s problem!
But wise leaders use questions to engage people and encourage them to take ownership. Looking at the lack of engagement in organizations – I wonder if leaders ask anything, because asking is engaging people….
What you ask about is what people learn about.
What they learn about is what they know.
What they know is what they can do.
That’s how Diana Whitney summarizes the power of questions in her book Appreciative Leadership.
A genuine question implies respect, helps to focus attention and helps to gather the facts, the assumptions, and the conditions for action and change. Questions set the agenda for conversation and action.
* What would you like your co-workers to think, interact and act on? What genuine question could you ask?What is your most powerful question? Click To Tweet
For instance, how could we be more supportive within the team so that we experience less stress to achieve our deadlines? How could we avoid errors and learn from each others’ mistakes? What do you need to finish your project within a month? What would it take to finish our projects in half of the time? How could we dazzle our clients?
What is your most powerful question?
This is book post #54 – Part “YOU”
By the way, if you want to contribute to a positive workplace culture, my next open workshop on Positive Culture Change Leadership is scheduled for May 2018! More information and registration is available at a first come first serve basis.
Leaders, employees, consultants, citizens – everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. This blog will help you see positive possibilities and (re)claim your positive agency. Unstuck yourself and engage others via your interaction and actions. Transform into a positive organization where people and performance thrive.
I’m blogging my next book: “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.” Your feedback is appreciated!