Leaders don’t need to have all the answers; in fact, the company as a whole is much more successful when the leaders are open about any lack of knowledge and are open to finding a solution within their team.
Asking the right questions can motivate and inspire those around you. But having said that, don’t be afraid to ask the “obvious question” at times as well. Sometimes companies can become so tangled up in what they are doing that they overlook or are afraid to ask the simple questions.
When asking questions, try and ask just one question at a time. Once you have asked your question, allow for silence and pauses. Giving people time to think shows that you have time to listen to what it is that they are about to say. We will write more about the art of listening next week, but needless to say, treat all answers with respect and make it be known that they are appreciated, even if you agree with them or not.
So where do you begin if you want to start asking more questions as a leader? In fact, the most important question any leader can ask is a simple “how are you today?” From that simple question being asked every day, many great teams have been built. Try it!