As an executive coach of leaders around the world, I spend much of my time asking important questions of my clients. It’s one of the skills I always try to pass on to them. My goal is to help them become not just a great leader but a great coach—one who knows how to ask the right question at the right time.
Questions are the key not only to building a strong bond but also to keeping people on track, motivated, and growing. Just the act of asking opens up new opportunities of communication and connection. Over time, as people learn they can answer honestly, they grow in the trust and confidence that are hallmarks of the most effective teams. Questions foster a culture that encourages curiosity, concern and careful listening.
Knowing how to coach your team by asking questions is never more important than when you’re leading them through a time of crisis. Questions help you stay connected across distance, help your people become more effective and self-sufficient, and ensure that everyone has the resources they need.
Here are some questions that can benefit every leader, every team and every individual—especially in challenging times.
How are you feeling?
Do you have any thoughts that are worrying you?
Do you have any concerns you want to address?
What’s stressing you the most?
How is your motivation?
When do you feel most inspired and productive?
Do you feel you’ve been putting in longer hours?
Do you have all the information you need to make the decisions you need to make?
Do you feel you’re getting the support you need?
Are we supporting you in the right way, or do you need something more?
Do you have any questions I can address?
Do you feel valued?
What can we do to improve your situation?
What are we getting wrong?
What are we getting right?
What can we do moving forward today to serve you and our business better?
If you want to be successful and reach your leadership potential, embrace asking questions as a coach would. Bringing out the best in your people is a primary goal of strong leadership, and the best way to make that happen is to engage with them, learn from them, listen to them, and do everything you can to support them.
The art of asking questions is the key to really understanding your people so you can better manage—whether it’s in a time of crisis, a rush of innovation and new ideas, or just the ups and downs of everyday work life.
Lead from within: If you want to be known as a great leader, ask great questions—you can learn more and your people can become more.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- How Great Leadership is Generated in Significant Crisis
- How to Lead Your Team When The Future Is Uncertain
- The One Aspect Of Crisis Management That No One Talks About
- How The Best Leaders Are Already Planning Past The Crisis
- How to Engage Employees During Uncertain Times
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.