Leadership 101: Leading the Team with Questions, Not Answers

Did you know? Giving your team easy answers is one of the worst traits in a leader.

What? Why? You may have previously assumed that leadership was all about having the answers. But that is not the case, as it hinders your team’s growth.

Think about it! If you supply your team with the solutions then what exactly are they bringing to the table? More importantly, how are you making them feel by dictating everything they do?

Many organizations have started to realize that designating tasks and implementing rules is not the way to go. Rather they should be holding board meetings to as a way to listen and learn what the workers have to say.

Here is a short list of reasons why leading with questions boosts team efficiency:

1. The Stimulator
Have you ever taken a lecture where the teacher just goes on and on about the topic?

We all have. And the truth is that many of us fell asleep or got bored midway. This is because the minimum interactions with the students put their brains in a lull. Similarly, you are handicapping the team when you pass around shortcuts and easy answers during meetings. Not only are you putting them to sleep but you are making it appear as if their own input does not matter.

On the other hand, if you start the project with questions and create an interactive space, then you will be triggering a response. They will be more motivated to put in efforts and ideas into the work they do because they have a leader that listens.

2. The Doubts
You can’t brush off the problems in a business plan/project under the rug. Neither should you be covering up your own doubts about the setup. Why is that so?

Well, for starters, it implies that you are fooling the team into keeping their guard down. Additionally, your dishonesty might make them consider you as untrustworthy. That is because some of them have bound to have caught on to the dent in the plan. Thus, it is better to put all your concerns and doubts on the table and work to resolve them as a team.

Subsequently, you will be able to push them to let out their own worries about the work. Who knows? You might even unearth some great ideas from the group.

3. The Boost
In the end, asking questions will boost your team’s productivity. They will value the fact that their voices matter in the company. This will, in turn, reflect on their performances and the creative tactics they apply to produce better outcomes.

On the whole, the right questions may just be the motivation they needed to think outside the box. It will direct you and them to paths that may have not been trodden by the competition. And nothing is more satisfactory for a leader than outshining the contenders with motivation.

In a nutshell, learn to lead with open ears and embrace the diverse opinions that brew up with your questions. Thus, the next time you have a meeting, begin with an open-ended question that acknowledges the bright minds under your authority.

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