Executives spend most of their routine gathering information from teams, and questioning various aspects is typical behavior. However, the scenario for business professionals is not the same as doctors, litigators, or journalists. Unlike other professionals, executives are trained to ask questions so that conversations can become more productive and effective.
Studies reveal that questioning is a powerful tool to unlock new opportunities within an organization. It encourages learning with the active sharing of ideas and can fuel innovation with performance. Furthermore, it builds rapport and trust among various team members. Moreover, powerful questions can uncover pitfalls in the growth of an organization while mitigating risks.
Professionals at Global Investment Strategies state that the first step to experience the power of questions is to ask more questions. But at the same time, it is essential to ensure that they influence the overall quality of your conversations. The best approach usually depends upon the situation and the goals of the people involved in the conversation. Unfortunately, however, there are few simple tactics that anyone can follow to enhance the outcomes.
Prefer follow-up questions
When you ask follow-up questions, it encourages your partner to share more. As the other person knows that you are interested in listening and learning more, they feel respected for being heard. In addition, these questions can help your team members to share the risks, opportunities, creative ideas, and problems more openly.
Know when to ask open-ended questions
People don’t like to get interrogated. Open-ended questions are not always a good choice for healthy conversations, and they may force another person to lie on the matter. But when used accurately, they can also be helpful to uncover information and get new insights. Experts advise leaders to generally proceed ahead with closed questions, especially when the situation is sensitive.
Follow right sequence
It is always necessary to ask questions correctly, and the most optimal organization usually depends on the circumstances. For example, when you are into some tense encounters, it is better to ask tough questions first to help your conversation partner feel open to discussing. But if the first question gets too sensitive, the other person may feel offended. So the best idea is to build a trustworthy relationship, start with less sensitive questions and then escalate slowly to the open-ended ones.
Be careful with your tone.
People find it easier to answer when you casually ask questions instead of putting an official tone forward. When you give them a flexible offer to answer the question, they will share more relevant details. But in this scenario, your questions must be more strategic so that the conversation partner does not find a way to lie.
Besides this, while leading active conversations, you should make careful decisions about what is worth sharing and what should be avoided. This strategy may help you present the essential information to the other party while keeping some details private for the benefit of your organization. When you ask questions with this strategy, you can leverage the real power of conversations.