As leaders  matures and gain wisdom they soon realize that in many cases the key is not having the right answers, but asking the right questions and then learning how to listen well. My experience has taught me that most leaders talk too much and listen too little. I know that this is true about me.I. have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Dan Rockwell shares with us powerful questions that produce results.

Guest Post by Dan Rockwell


Don’t ask powerful questions if you want a team of mindless zombies.

Powerful questions will:

  1. Invite
  2. Engage
  3. Inspire
  4. Motivate
  5. Provoke
  6. Challenge
  7. Encourage

Powerful questions change behaviors:

You are 35% more likely to buy a car in the next six months if I ask, “Do you intend to buy a new car?” Citizens are 25% more likely to vote if someone asks, “Are you going to vote?” Your friend is more likely to exercise if you ask, “Do you intend to exercise?”

Questions create attention.

Attention translates to direction.

Focus that produces the best results:

  1. Learning new skills.
  2. Adapting to change.
  3. Connecting with people.
  4. Delivering on commitments.
  5. Taking ownership of responsibilities.
  6. Siezing opportunities.
  7. Solving problems.

Don’t be a one-string banjo that only focuses on fixing stuff. When you constantly bring up problems everyone focuses on things that aren’t working.

Questions lead to thinking. Thinking leads to doing.

When was the last time you did something you hadn’t thought about?

“… decades of research has found that the more the brain contemplates a behavior, the more likely it is that we will engage in it.” David Hoffeld

What do you want people thinking?

Ask questions that lead to action.

If the next question you ask creates attention, what do you want people to focus on?

5 powerful questions:

  1. What do you intend to learn today?
  2. Where do you intend to adapt today?
  3. Who do you intend to connect with today?
  4. What do you intend to deliver today?
  5. What opportunity do you intend to seize today?

Powerful questions tickle intentions.

What questions could you ask to lead your team in the right direction?