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.
• 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