Are you talking more than you’re listening?

Posted October 16, 2009 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

One of the strengths that many leaders have is an ability to convey ideas, to communicate their big visions, to enthrall their direct reports with terrific insights, strategic priorities and crucial “burning platform” initiatives.

Often what’s equally impressive is these same leaders INABILITY to listen.  Something seems to happen along the corporate hierarchy where, unless you’re careful, you as a leader can fall into the trap of falling in love with the sound of your own voice and/or thinking that all of the solutions have to come from you.

The truth is, some of the best leaders are phenomenal LISTENERS and one of the most crucial skills to develop to become a great listener is the skill of asking great QUESTIONS.

Courtesy of career coach Martha Dove, here are some of her favourite questions to add to your toolkit:

1. Tell me more…?

2. Can you give me an example…?

3. Can you describe a situation where…?

4. What’s been your experience with….?

5. What’s your opinion on…?

6. What does that “look like”?

7. What do you think the consequences might be?

8. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

9. Who would agree with that idea?

10. What would be another possibility?

11. What would happen if…?

12. What are you trying to accomplish?

13. What do you see as an obstacle?

14. What’s your hypothesis?

15. What did you try?

16. What else did you try?

17. What would you like to see happen?

Happy leading!


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