In the old days, leadership existed questionless. Commands were given and followed. Today, questions play an important role in high performance business teams. Vivacious Leaders cannot help but admit they do not know it all. Anyone who claims to do so is destined for mediocrity.
Why use questions?
By using the right questions, you invite people to the table of creative thoughts. It sparks curiosity and opens new, untouched places in the mind.
Watch the difference here:
What's the sum of 5 plus 5?
What numbers add up to 10?
It is about getting the automated answer, jammed into our heads by our teachers, versus the real process of creative thinking. There are so many ways to get to 10. While striving for the latter, we need to work on our question-skills.
How do we ask the right questions?
If we ask at the end of any meeting 'Did you find this meeting helpful?', the response is limited to a yes or no. To get more information for both parties, we need to make sure we ask open questions if we want to boost the creative ideas.
Open questions tend to start with how, what, in what way and why.
How can we build our new empire?
What should we gather around us to do so?
In what way can we show who we are?
Why should we do so?
How can we improve these meetings?
Did we get you thinking?
Ha, there's the yes or no again. There's only one way to become a question master. Practice. Try to ask an open question in every conversation you have coming week. It shows interest in your companion and gives your team members 'space to fill'.
Make sure you do not put any answer hidden in your questions. Some leaders tend to steer people already in their so-called questions.
'Working like this could be profitable, don't you think?'
Why ask, if you do not want your discussion partner to think anyways?
Time to put your questions under the microscope and train yourself
If you do so, the amount of open-ended questions increases. This increases curiosity and will accelerate your knowledge each week. By teaching your team to ask open questions too, you will all advance in knowledge and inspiration.
But, how to teach them?
1. Open question game
Gather with your team and explain the importance of open-ended questions to accelerate your cumulative inspiration and knowledge. To train the use of these open-ended questions, as a vivacious leader you will start with asking one and the next in your team will answer it.
This in-depth answer will be ended with the next open-ended question. Every team member can experience open-ended question magic, by answering and asking one themselves. If your team is doing great, stop following the clockwise line and free anyone to random answer the questions, followed by another one. And throw in a topic that is of real interest, ofcourse.
2. Open start of the day
To start your day fresh and vibrant, let every team member formulate one open-ended question he or she is dealing with.
By answering this question themselves, solutions spread in a more vivid way. By funneling the best fits out there, a to do list for today is formulated rather quickly.
3. Good change excercise
You can also use the questions underneath, and ask your team members in a short brainstorm how they would change them into more inviting, open-ended questions. What remodeling of the question would the use to spark positive inspiration?
Do we have everything covered?
Are you tired?
Why didn't you come forward with this problem sooner?
Do you know how to operate this thing?
I don't see any other options. Do you?
Why are you always such a jerk?
Have you tried to talk with him/her about this?
Have you been doing your task?
Why don't you like this idea?
You do not have to be a Question Master yourself to start practising these with your team. It is totally fine to learn too along the way.
Don't be a commander who pretends to know it all. Be the eager, vivacious leader.
In what way would you like to inspire your team?