Sunday, October 9, 2011

The power of questions

Organisations has to be considered as open systems, where the behavior is defined by his structure and external influences.
Leaders and managers have the obligation to always look for ways that the organization as a whole can function more effectively.To do this, they need to ask questions about practices, proceses, persons and structures:
Why do we things this way?is there a better approach?
Asking questions in a way that does not trigger defensiveness and that is seen as constructive is an important skill for leaders and managers.
Before going meer deeper in the power of questions , lets look at this video:

Now , how well do you ask questions?

From my knowledge and experience , most managers don't think about that . it's not seen as a managerial competence , or taught at schools.
Giving orders and make decisions on facts seems more appropriate, but questions are powerfull, but their use poorly understood.
Before asking questions , your first competence is to LISTEN, it's a first step to
- getter factual information
- get a objective insight of the situation
- to learn
- to have input from others
- to detect the different mental models

All this information will be finetuned and detailed by appropriate questions :not a matter what you ask, but HOW you ask it:
- Be positive
- Be creative
- Be open-ended
- Be engaged
- Dig deep in the facts and underlying patterns
Asking questions goes further than gathering information.
Storytelling , a wellknown method to communicate your purpose, vision, strategy's start with asking questions.
Personal mastery is doing your own SWOT, asking questions about yourself.

Most of us never think about how to frame our questions.Giving this process some explicit thought will be important in the future.

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