John Greenway, Leaders’ Map
Asking the right questions is a critical success factor in human relationships and communications. When I did a quick internet search for “the best questions”, up popped some first date questions!
Surprisingly, the advice was particularly good, along with some helpful starter questions!
- Listen as much or more than you talk. Some people consider themselves skilled communicators because they can talk endlessly. The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people.
- Peel the onion, don’t stab it with a paring knife. Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. For now, take it easy.
- Genuine interest goes a long way. It’s exciting to be able to get to know another human being and get a peek into his or her world. Great communication starts with being genuinely interested and paying close attention to what he/she says.
And for just for your interest their top 3 starter questions were:
- Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
- What kinds of things really make you laugh?
- What’s your favourite place in the entire world?
Whether you trying to get to know someone socially, or in work, it is worth really thinking about what I should be asking, rather than what am I going to say?
Stephen Covey highlighted that to succeed you have to “Seek first to understand”. He was in good company as Jesus constantly “peeled back the onion” by asking surprisingly simple, but challenging questions as part of his teaching technique.
Learning to ask questions is perhaps one of the most underrated areas of leadership development. When did you last spend serious time thinking about the types of questions you ask? We tend to want more knowledge and data, rather than understanding and insight.
Let’s take this a step further. When did you last ask yourself a challenging or difficult question?
Self-examination is not easy, otherwise we’d all be doing it more frequently and those around us would be the real beneficiaries! This can also be the case in our day job where we can comfortably stay in the “unquestioning groove”.
At Leaders’ Map we have built-in a questioning process as part of the DNA of the app. The app is designed to help you navigate towards success in your work and other roles in life. Questioning ourselves about our long term direction, medium term priorities and day-to-day decisions and tasks is fundamental to the navigation process….is it not?