The coach approach to leadership is based on the premise that asking questions of others is significantly more effective than telling others what you think, or what to do. Leading with questions has evolved from something I thought could be effective to something I know to be powerful in terms of fostering solution-based thinking, accountability, confidence, and action in others.
There are 6 powerful benefits of leading with questions:
1. Stimulates thinking (which helps construct ideas)
2. Stimulates discussion
3. Fosters accountability
4. Fosters action
5. Builds rapport/relationships
6. Authenticates belief in others (which builds confidence)
Think about this: What are your physiological and mental responses when someone asks you a question? Does your mind jump into action working to formulate your thoughts? Do you feel a surge of confidence knowing that the other person wants to hear your perspective? How do these responses compare to the moments when people tell you what they think or what to do? There are so many positive physiological and mental responses to being asked a question.
It’s never too late to be lead with questions. By doing so, you will soon feel the power of fostering solution-based thinking, accountability, confidence, and action in others.
I have a simple challenge for all current and aspiring leaders: Ask more questions. The best way to summon great questions to your mind is to become genuinely curious about what others are thinking.
About the Author
Sandra McDowell, MA, PCC, CPHR, SHRM-SCP
As the founder and voice behind eLeadership Academy™, Sandra McDowell helps leaders and organizations increase performance and well-being by leveraging neuroscience insights to harness the untapped power of the brain.