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Short questions … Post #5 (of 7): The Right Questions

This is the latest in a series of short posts based on feedback to an earlier article about the changing face of leadership.

If you’d like to contribute to this ongoing conversation, please join us in the LinkedIn Group ‘Leadership in a Changing World’.

“Ask the right questions – and make sure you listen to the answers.”

Many respondents stressed the importance of asking the right questions, both internally and externally, and listening attentively to the answers:

“Those organisations and leaders that have taken the trouble to deeply understand the challenges faced by people in their work, home life and customer experience will have accrued huge levels of engagement which will pay dividends.”

“Through asking questions, through asking better questions, until asking the right questions. Benefit: if we ask ‘what if’ questions we can start dealing with uncertainty by thinking forward in scenarios.”

“It is so important to ‘take your people with you’ and give them an understanding of your vision, to motivate them and give them the belief that together we will all get through this.”

“The double effect of a questioning culture is its impact on resilience. I asked the question, so I don't take it home, overnight, over the weekend.”

This has even greater relevance in light of the great working-from-home experiment:

“Now is not the time to take people for granted, especially as you don’t meet them in person so often. So, go out of the way to connect, stay in touch, generously invest in their well-being and their capabilities.”

“The winning leaders in the pandemic have really been the strong people-focused people who have led with genuine and authentic empathy. The more we move away from office-based working, the more important genuine connection and empathy from leadership will become the success cornerstone.”

At least one person took the questioning theme into more philosophical territory, suggesting that even the most basic articles of faith in business should be open to scrutiny:

“What are the challenges and responses to the very system many are attempting to tolerate and adjust to? Leadership seems at the very least to need to practice challenging and questioning everything – if it dares.”


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