Something I’ve observed in many leaders is the feeling that they have to have an answer when asked a question.
Not so. And not even for the reason a thousand coaches have told you, which is to be vulnerable.
There’s a deeper reason.
Which is that often it’s not really a question at all. Here in no particular order is a from-the-hip list of some of the things questions pose as.
1) Questions. Genuine search for info, direction, etc;
3) Pleas for attention;
4) Challenge (show you up, test, accuse or blame you);
5) Status statement;
6) Seeking recognition;
8) Pushback or delaying tactic;
9) Absolving responsibility;
11) Redirect attention;
12) Relationship building;
13) Provoking new thinking.
We can create much more value if we understand why a question is asked before deciding how to respond.
So, to my friends in leadership roles. I’m structuring my thoughts into a practical series of 15ish short, once a week emails on how to recognise and best respond to each type of question. If you think this may be of value (or humour) to you, and you want to make me do the work, subscribe here.