Nuances and meaning often get lost in communication. As George Bernard Shaw underlines “the problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” To make sure you have thoroughly got across your message, ask powerful questions, probing that your interlocutor understood what you actually meant.
When listening create the space for the other person to formulate a well-thought answer. Don’t assume they don’t have one just because they’re taking more time to formulate it. You can further develop the conversation by asking your partner “tell me more about that”.
Asking powerful questions is an art and brings people to reflect on aspects they might have taken for granted. Be mindful and first ask for their permission before asking a challenging question. These questions are designed to trigger personal accountability and inspire your team members to act on a higher level of performance.
Questions such as “What could you have done differently to create a better outcome for the situation at hand?” will help them reflect on ways of improvement for the future. Want to forge future leaders? Ask them: “What is the one thing you now commit to doing differently when a similar situation arises?” This question makes them assume responsibility and commit to better solutions.
Powerful questions aim to remind leaders of who they aspire to be. “In what ways did your actions reflect on who you want to be as a leader?,” is a reminder of how they could act more in alignment with who they truly want to become.
Edgy questions bring you to the “here and now”. By shifting the focus from distractions to the present moment, the project can quickly advance. Want to learn more about the benefits of asking powerful questions? Read this article to see what they can help you achieve.