Many of you will know that open questions are those that cannot be answered with a one word answer but I want to very quickly bring this to top of mind.
If you are having trouble getting your team involved, think for themselves and solve problems, check the questions you are asking.
Questions that begin with Who, When, Did you, Will you or Can you, often end in 1 word answers from staff.
If you were mentoring them, you can give them the answer to their problems, but then they will probably return tomorrow with a similar issue.
However your objective as a Leader to your team is to:
Ask questions that get them thinking about how to solve the problem for themselves. It will take slightly longer and demand your self-control and patience to hold back on the answer, but when they discover it for themselves, the rewards are long lasting.
Questions that begin with Why, How, What or Tell me, tend to generate more meaningful answers because the person is forced to say a whole sentence.
As a Leader to your team, here are the 4 most important questions that you can ask.
• How? How did you get the project started?
• Tell me about? Tell me about what is most challenging or inspiring for you.
• What? What do you think could improve the outcome?
• Why? Why do you think that would work?
In a leadership environment, the objective is for the team to do most of the talking. If you find that you are doing most of the talking, there is a good chance you are asking closed questions and giving them advice or suggesting solutions in which case you are possibly mentoring them.
Listen, to their answers with the intent of understanding. If you do not understand their answer you can drill down, by asking more inquiring questions.
The more open the questions, the more information they will share and the more insight will be revealed to help them find their own solution.
Invest the time in leading to develop your team and free yourself from putting out fires!
Ignite your Success, Coach Marlo