"If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing." ~William Edwards Deming

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." ~ Naguib Mahfouz

One thing sited over and over again when speaking on leadership and management is the need to ask questions and to listen. Too many times we jump to an answer, after all, that's what we're there for right? This can also result in us rudely cutting someone off and often interjecting our answer without fully listening to the question or issue.

What this does is open up the possibility of bad decisions being made since we have not delved into the heart of the matter, possibly not listened to the person in the first place, and maybe not even heard what the actual question was (when you cut them off).

As Tony Robbins says; "Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, & as a result, they get better answers." The best way to learn how to ask better questions is, not surprisingly, to practice. Your Challenge for the day is to:

Ask a minimum of 3 questions before giving ANY answer

It may sound simple, and it WILL seem tedious at times, but stick with it for just one day. I guarantee that you will learn a couple of things.

  • You didn't ask nearly as many questions as you thought before you make your decisions.
  • You will learn a lot about your people, your department, and your issues.

Give it a try and see what you think, I’m sure you’ll find that you are a better manager and have a better understanding of your business because of it.