Although I recognise ‘Good Leader’ has a subjective definition, I have been considering how imperative it is leaders embrace a state of constant learning. They should be focused on finding good questions, developing self-awareness and honing critical thinking skills. It is through these ‘good learning’ skills they will open themselves up to new ideas and ways of working that will help them become great leaders.
As a leader, do you know how to ask a good question?
Having been inspired by Warren Berger in his book “A More Beautiful Question” I’ve been exploring what makes a good question.
Berger points out that a question creates an unresolved tension in our minds, demonstrates an awareness of what we do not know, enables people to act in the face of uncertainty and helps organise our thinking. It is also a great place to join polarising ideas to challenge thinking without creating conflict.
This ability to challenge ideas and rethink things from alternative perspectives creates the seeds for innovation.
Innovations with the greatest impact have begun with great questions, often asked with a certain naivety, but explored without judgement. Polaroids, mobile phones, computers, sports drinks, streaming services and robotic prosthetics began with good questions. They brought together diverse and creative thinking.
I'm interested in how we create questions that bring us together to explore better ways of being, that transcend the dogma of political thought or religious belief and help us all be better critical thinkers.
So, what is a good question?
From an organisational point of view, a good question is one that helps you respond in a competitive market and creates new ideas for products.
From a personal growth point of view, a good question is one that helps you delve deeply in to who you are, why you work in a particular way or why you respond to others in a particular way.
These questions help in leading teams. People change, environments change and the dynamics between people constantly shift. There is no greater example than our current situation with COVID-19. This means leaders need to build learning skills that help them try new things, listen for feedback and reflect on who they are.
Encouraging good questions is a great way to build a high performing environment where people thrive and businesses flourish.
What's your best question?