The best leaders are those who ask good questions, not those who give good answers. Many times, It’s better to be the question-man than the answer-man. This gives the leader the opportunity to truly listen while giving the talkers the time to share what’s really important to them. Dan Rockwell shares some solid ideas on how to stop asking boring questions coupled with three way to ask questions people love to hear!

Originally published by Dan Rockwell

You don’t need to be Einstein to ask questions that lift flagging spirits and ignite vitality.

Lousy questions are tyrants. Good questions invite interesting answers. But great questions disturb the domestic tranquility.

Great questions build relationships, open windows of insight, and enhance self-knowledge.

3 ways to ask questions people love to hear:

#1. Ask about something in their office.

  1. Where was that picture taken?
  2. What did you do to earn that trophy?

Always ask follow-up questions that tell people you’re listening and interested in learning more.

#2. Ask about something they mention.

Someone might say, “I watched a movie with my daughter last night.” That’s your cue to ask about their daughter. “Oh, how old is your daughter?”

Set the stage for a personal question by revealing something about yourself.

“Oh, I have a 10-year-old son. How old is your daughter?”

#3. Ask questions that highlight strengths.

After pleasantries, raise your eyebrows a little and say, “So tell me, what are you good at?” The follow-up to this question salutes people, especially new acquaintances and builds instant raport.

“I bet you are good at that. I’d love to know how you got so good at that?” If you’re uncomfortable using “love” just say, “So tell me, how did you get good at that?”

When you know someone, try a personalized approach to highlighting strengths.

“I notice you’re really good at leading meetings. What advice do you have for leading great meetings?” (Replace ‘meetings’ with any skill you notice about someone.)

Be interested in others if you hope to be a leader of impact and influence.

What questions do you love to hear?

What questions do you love to ask?

Bonus material:

12 Leadership Development Questions Any Leader Can Use Today | Leadership Freak

12 Questions that Expose the Real Problem | Leadership Freak