Source | LinkedIn : By Bernard Marr
“Effective leaders ask questions instead of giving orders.”
Dale Carnegie wrote that in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence Peoplenearly 80 years ago, but the advice is as good today as it was then.
The higher people rise to power, the less likely it is that others around them challenge them or tell them bad news. Bad news often get filtered and edited as messages cascade upwards and sometimes is it hard for top leaders to get a real feel for what is actually happening.
One of the most powerful tools leaders can have is to ask questions and then listen to the answers. This goes especially for questions that can’t be answered with a simple one-word-answer.
Questions help us to look at things in a new light, challenge the status quo, search for innovative ideas and figure out how to do things differently. The art of asking the right questions with the willingness to listen to the answers is one of the most important tool in the toolbox of top executives.
How to ask better questions
Often questions can feel like accusations to the person on the receiving end, making them instantly defensive. But empowering questions allows the person a safe way to share without feeling at fault. So instead of asking, “Why is this project behind schedule?” you could ask, “How do you feel about the way the project is proceeding?” and you’ll get a much different sort of answer.