On a typical day, you probably ask plenty of questions. They are likely intended to gain information, get clarity, etc. From a leadership perspective, I believe they do more than this. Well phrased questions present opportunities to teach and reinforce shared values of the organization.

I have found the key to asking good leadership questions is to think about the “quest” in your inquiry. Where do you want to take this person, group, team, etc. with your question? What values/beliefs are you trying to reinforce with your questions? For example: What questions can you ask if you want people to focus on integrity, trust, or customer satisfaction? Or their personal growth? How about creativity?

Your questions of this nature should be of no surprise to your people. As their leader, you are present; you are all in; you are interested in them and value them. And always remember to listen to understand vs. waiting for your turn to be understood—that is simply not good leadership.

Researchers have found that most people do not ask enough questions. Further,
by asking more questions, they discovered that emotional intelligence improves, which will make you better at asking questions. Follow-up questions signal that you are listening; you care and want to know more.

Lastly, another thing the researchers discovered about people who ask more questions: people perceive those who are more intelligent than those who do not ask or seek advice. It makes people feel good—pretty much common sense. So let’s keep asking and keep learning. STAY CURIOUS.