Examples of Great Questions

 

the last two weeks, we’ve been talking about the power of questions: The Right Questions Can Change Your Life and The Bones of a Great Question.

Our articles have sparked requests from some of you asking if we could give examples of questions to ask. So, today, we’re doing just that.

We’re sharing some great examples of questions that you can use to create engaging and connecting conversations.

We’ve put them under a range of headings but don’t get stuck believing that they can only work in that section. We encourage you to explore how you can use these questions in various places in your life.

  • Early in relationships:
    • What brought you to this organization/department/class/play/etc?
    • What’s your vision for this project?
    • What makes you want to stay in this job/community/etc?
    • What are the highlights of your life?
    • Where are you in your life? What crossroads do you feel you’re at in this stage of your life?
  • Ongoing teams:
    • What’s the thing you most need to address today? What’s going well? What’s off track? What do you need from us/me?
    • How do we make decisions about this so that we’re both/all efficient and effective?
    • What are the key red flags we need to watch for?
    • How do you best hear challenges to your ideas?
    • On a scale of 1 – 5, with 1 being low and 5 being high:
      • How valuable do you plan for this time to be?
      • How participative do you plan to be?
      • How much risk do you plan to take?
      • To what extent are you invested in the well-being of the group/relationship/etc?
    • Do we understand why we’re doing it this way?
  • Getting people into the room:
    • What values will guide your work today?
    • Can you share one thing about this project that really inspires you?
    • What’s something the people in this room don’t know about you?
    • What’s the skill you’re most proud to bring to the table?
    • What are the gifts you bring to the table?
    • What are the gifts others bring to the table?
  • Creating a shared understanding:
    • I’m curious about what each of you know about this effort.
    • What’s been your path to this role?
    • Would each person share a bit about their history with this project and why they’re pleased to be a part of this effort?
    • What are the current issues that need to be addressed?
    • What have you been told and what have you heard about this effort?
    • Of the things we have on our plate, what doesn’t fit?
  • Responding to urgent issues:
    • What are the most critical hits we’ll take if we don’t get on this soon?
    • What are our opportunities and risks at this point in the project?
    • Take a minute to write down the three most important things you believe we can do to respond to this. (Be sure to listen to every single idea before starting to plan.)
    • Who needs to be involved for our time to be successful?
    • If we brought in an expert from outside the organization, what would they do/say?
    • What are the possible long-term consequences?
  • Evaluating an idea, proposal, or initiative:
    • What are the benefits of this idea? What concerns do you have? What suggestions would you make before we move forward?
    • Does anyone see anything we’ve missed?
    • What are the obstacles that will get in our way?
    • What are the thoughts about this that you haven’t shared yet? What feels undiscussable in here?
    • If you had a magic wand, what would you do to address this problem?

This week consider compiling a file of questions that help you invite others to partner with you by offering their wisdom, expertise, and perspective.

Send us the questions that you’ve found most helpful in your life.

If you’d like support in creating an environment of engagement and collaboration,contact us today about our Executive Coaching.

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  • Linda Carpenter, Stephanie Smith

    Carpenter Smith Consulting

    Linda Carpenter and Stephanie Smith started Carpenter Smith Consulting in Portland to support individuals and teams who dream about having the power, impact and influence to create success and meaning in ... Read full profile
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