Wouldn’t it be good to know that every decision you take over the next 12 months will be the right one. This may sound impossible but there is a way to significantly increase the likelihood of your decisions being correct.
The secret is understanding. Without understanding we are very likely to make bad or the wrong decisions, with greater understanding we should have, not just the facts but also the instinct to make the right choices.
The key to gaining understanding is to ask the right people the right questions, whether they be staff, colleagues, customers or even our bosses. Here are some pointers towards asking the right questions:
Be kind – good questioning shows interest and concern whereas questions asked badly can feel like interrogation. Facial expression and body language are as important as the words you use.
Keep your questions open – Start sentences with Who, What, Where, When, Why, How and So. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no.
Repeat what you’ve heard – this demonstrates that you are really listening and allows the other person to clarify their point of view
Be curious – don’t stop asking after you’ve heard one answer keep exploring until you fully understand and could explain the situation to someone else.
Some might argue that there is no time in the 21st century workplace for such protracted conversations, we’d argue that by honing our questioning skills we will be able to quickly cut to the heart of the matter and significantly build honest relationships based on trust. Trust, decisive leadership and openness will all significantly save time.