Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Just Some Questions for You, That’s All
Part of my early morning routine is starting my MacBook in search for the good stuff by Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Wharton School of Business, Fast Company, or a good leadership/entrepreneur blog. It provides me with great nutrition for my brain and with new ideas for my talks, workshops and coaching sessions. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a different perspective on an existing concept which helps me look at an idea or event from an unusual angle. I like that, and I’m sure I don’t do enough of it. Neither do you.
This morning, the HBR Tip of the Day caught my eye with the title How to Ask Productive Questions? Not new, not shockingly different but very relevant. It talks about how you and I make more statements than we ask questions. It talks about the fact that some (or many?) of our “questions” are in name only. I believe this to be true for most of us, and my advice to clients when working to improve their influence through communication is always straightforward: Decide whether to ask a real question or whether to make a clear statement, but decide and do. No deceiving please, because that leaves others misguided, insulted, defensive, confused, suspicious, even distrustful – and righteously so.
Hence I’ll be real clear. I have real questions for you. Questions I suggest you ask yourself in order to keep improving your effectiveness on the job, at home, anywhere.
- What am I not willing to admit?
- How can I find new ways to add meaning to the people on my team?
- Which of my beliefs have become fossilized and might be seducing me to ‘business as usual’?
- To what extent did I live by my values today?
- Am I really ‘there’ when I’m ‘there’, or is it a case of part-time presence? Do I allow distractions to keep me from fully engaging?
- Who impacted me today and how am I going to grow from this now?
- How can I make tomorrow more meaningful than today?
- What have I tried to control, which I know I shouldn’t?
- Was my heart involved in whatever my head focused on today?
- Did I communicate with conviction and clarity?
- Where did I lack the courage to stand up, speak out, be frank, say it straight?
I’d love to hear your question!