Lead with Questions, Not Answers

Harvard Business Review

Posted  210 Views updated 11 months ago

Chances are, most leaders are too focused on having all the answers — and not focused enough on asking the right questions. It's time to recalibrate. Despite what you might think, expressing vulnerability and asking for help, clarification, or input can be a sign of strength and confidence, not weakness.

The right questions are signals of trust — and they can inspire people to trust you in return. For example, rather than telling your team about a new opportunity you've identified, ask them, "Do you see a game-changing opportunity that could create much more value than we’ve delivered in the past?" A big, simple question like this can inspire a burst of collaboration and creativity across the organization.

And if you consistently demonstrate a question-first mindset, you’ll help establish an overall culture of curiosity and learning that will keep your team innovating and responding to challenges effectively. So try it out this week:

Ask your team a big-picture, open-ended question, and see if it doesn’t lead to some new and exciting ideas.


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