Asking questions has always played a role in leadership, but it’s more vital than ever in today’s fast-changing digital landscape. Here are the questions leaders and their colleagues should be asking to prompt exploration, innovation and shifting perspectives.
Questions to help you dig deeper:
- What else?
- What is beneath that?
- What are your underlying needs?
- What do you think the other person wants?
- Why do you think you reacted that way?
- What are your emotions telling you?
- What is your intellect telling you?
- What’s really going on?
- Is there a bigger picture?
- What drives that response/behavior/performance?
- How can it get even better?
Questions to help you get more contextual information:
- Can you give me more insight into the context?
- Who is around you?
- What are your support mechanisms?
- What is your responsibility as defined by your job description?
Questions to help you shift or change perspective:
- How can you look at this another way?
- What is another person’s perspective?
- Are there other options?
- If you were an observer what would you notice?
- What’s the 10,000 foot perspective?
- Who looks at this from another angle?
- If you stood on the table/on the moon what would your perspective be?
- If you were 5 years in the future what would you say about this situation?
Questions to elicit innovative or creative thinking:
- What’s a metaphor for this?
- What’s possible?
- What’s a backward way to get at this?
- Is there a different way to approach it?
- What are you dissatisfied with?
- What are the opportunities?
- What would an amazing breakthrough look/smell/sound/feel like?
- What resources do you need?
- How would this work in an ideal world?
- What’s a new way to think about it?
- How could you tap into your creative brain about this?