Thursday, May 23, 2013

LEAD BY EXAMPLE Part 5: Ask Good Questions

In Part 4 of this "Lead by Example" series, I explored the notion that big picture thinking contributes to leadership effectiveness. Here I propose that asking good questions is a key component of your leadership skill set.

Asking good questions not only makes you a good follower, it is possibly the most underutilized leadership tool there is. If you approach the situation in the spirit of wanting to obtain the best outcome, asking questions lets you address the situation in a way that benefits everyone involved. 

Questioning your boss’s decisions or actions helps him or her to slow down and reflect on decisions about to be made. Questioning your reports helps them develop their own problem-solving skills. By modeling this key leadership competency, you give your reports the freedom to question you and others, helping everyone make better, well thought-out decisions. 

When everyone is asking good questions and listening carefully to the answers, the entire organization benefits.

Links to all the other posts in this "Lead By Example" series:

•   Introduction
•   Be Honest
•   Be supportive 
•   Be reliable
•   Always seek to understand the big picture
•   Be aware of your own assumptions
•   Practice integrity

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This post was excerpted from “Lead by Example,” by Chris Musselwhite, originally published in American Executive June 2009

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