7 Smart Questions for Managers to Lead Better


The Value of Good Questions
Good managers ask a lot of good questions – smart questions for managers to lead better.  Good questions show a bit of leadership humility and encourage your team to think for themselves while solving problems and making decisions.

Raising the Level of Involvement
When you want to get your team more actively involved in looking at new ways of doing their job or thinking more broadly about team goals and their place in the overall organization, ask questions that lead them down new and interesting paths of thought.  No one individual has all the answers.  Think of the discussions you could have and the new perspectives you could uncover!

When you ask your team thought-provoking questions you show them that you value their point of view.

7 Smart Questions for Managers to Lead Better
Why not ask the questions that are most important to you in your role as leader of the team?  Questions like:

1. How should your success be measured?
This question helps to ensure that goals and success metrics are understood, simple, focused, believable, possible, meaningful, fulfilling, relevant and agreed upon.

2. What are the greatest barriers to achieving that success?
This question helps to identify obstacles so that you can design a fair and reasonable plan to overcome them together.  Ideally you would help your team delineate between the barriers that are in and out of their control so that they can focus on the right areas in the right way.

3. How can we best overcome what is standing in our way?
This question focuses on the actions needed to get the results that you desire.

4. What problem are we trying to solve? What questions are we trying to answer?
These questions help to focus your team on what matters most to ensure that conversations are productive and relevant.

5. What is working well?
This question helps to accentuate and reinforce the positive aspects of what is going on.

6. What is not working well?
This question helps to identify areas for performance improvement.

7. what are the greatest pressures that we face in the next 12-24 months?
This question helps to set the stage for future planning.

The Bottom Line
The questions you ask your team can lead in so many positive directions.  Ask smart questions for managers to lead better.  But don’t neglect your responsibility to listen carefully, act upon suggestions that make sense, and coax responses from even the most reticent on your team.  The quiet ones may have the best answers of all.

To learn more about management best practices and smart questions for managers to lead better, download 29 Ways to Build and Maintain Trust as a Leader


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