Types of Questions Leaders Ask

You may think a question is a question, but different questions are designed to achieve different results.  This is why it’s important that leaders master the art of question asking.   Here are 4 types of questions to consider as you lead individuals on your team:

  • Personal questions – These questions allow you to get to know a person, their background, interests, personality, and heart.   This is important because the better you know someone the better you will be able to work together.  The goal of personal questions is to CONNECT relationally.
  • Evaluation questions – When you go to the doctor he tends to ask evaluation questions trying to discover  the source of your pain or problem.  As leaders it’s important that we take time to ask evaluation questions to discover the health and effectiveness of the ministry that we’re responsible for.  The goal of evaluation questions is to ASSESS what adjustments need to be made. 
  • Coaching questions –  I’ve discovered that most  people really want to do their best and are very open to learning and growing.  Coaching questions are important because they’re intended to guide an individual to think on their own and uncover learnings from their experiences.  Too often as leaders we tell people what they need to learn rather than asking questions that help them solve their own problems and develop their skills.  The goal of Coaching questions is to DEVELOP an individual performer through self-discovery.
  • Accountability questions –This one is the toughest for many leaders, yet so essential in getting things done.   These questions are asked after someone has made a commitment to a particular task or goal.  They’re very direct and remind people of personal responsiblities.  The goal of accountability questions is to FOLLOW UP on commitments to insure individual or organizational progress.

What are other types of questions leaders use?

5 Questions to Ask After a Project has Failed

None of us like to fail but all of us do.  So if failure is inevitable then we must make the most of the opportunity and add to our leadership wisdom by asking the right questions.  Here are a few to start with…

  1. Was it a planning problem?  There are times we fail because our thinking was incomplete from the beginning and we didn’t have a well thought out plan
  2. Was it a system problem?  We use systems and processes in everything we do.  An ineffective system can complicate execution and keep us from accomplishing the results we desire. 
  3. Was it a communication problem?  If we’ve failed to communicate clearly and people don’t understand what’s expected of them then our execution will fail even if we have a great plan.
  4. Was it a focus problem?  Too often we have competing priorities and as a result key projects fail because we’re trying to do too many things at one time.
  5. Was it a personnel problem?  A major part of our role as leaders is to get people operating in their strengths.  Many times projects fail because we have the wrong people doing the wrong things.  

Then there is that final question we have to ask after every failure:  If I had the chance to do it all over what would I do differently?

What would you add to this list?