Asking smarter questions is the key to bringing out the best in the colleagues and clients you serve. Why? When you ask smarter questions, the conversation becomes all about all of you, together. However, if you would rather showcase how smart you are, there is little time for asking questions. Hmm.
Think about it. What are the dynamics of your conversations with colleagues and client during meetings?
How much time is spent listening to people basically lecturing at each other? Consider how much of the meeting is devoted to looking at PowerPoints or reading data tables. In other words, you are not engaging with each other in dialogue and perhaps even debate. Instead, you look away from each other and gaze at computer screens instead. Or, you tune out the speaker because they turn you off.
Changing meeting dynamics by achieved by focusing on asking smarter questions.
The format of today’s digital meetings typically involves holding off on asking questions until the end of the meeting. As a result, meeting formats become linear rather than collaborative.
Perhaps this makes sense when working with very large groups or presenting webinars. However, if you are working with a small group, this format becomes detrimental to asking smart questions. Subsequent rework and change orders may be avoided down the road if they are addressed by smart questions in the moment.
Changing the format of how you meet also requires that presenters become comfortable with their content. In addition, they know where additional information is available and easily accessible. As a result, they become adept at switching gears on the fly and presenting out of order, if responding to a question is necessary.
Smarter questions probe the breadth and depth of thinking behind an approach to a project or potential acquisition.
Consequently, you begin to weigh more factors into decision making. By asking smarter questions, everyone makes smarter decisions, together. Over time, the linear meeting format becomes a thing of the past, in favor of more complex problem solving. Asking smarter questions grows your own skill set, and those of your colleagues and clients. As a result, you create more enduring and valuable client-focused outcomes, together.
Meet people where they are. Get to where you really need to go. Together. | One Millimeter Mindset | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Speaker, Consultant, Mentor |
How do you become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable to people who solve problems differently than you do? Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset ™ speaking, consulting, and mentoring programs catalyze you to collaborate one millimeter beyond what is holding you back from moving forward. Her 3 Core Questions, 4 Change Agreements, and 5 Professional Whys catalyze you to ask the questions that get everyone to where they really need to go, together.
I am a business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked (Complex) Problem Solver, Duke Corporate Education licensed Strategic Agility practitioner, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). I am a member of SHRM, PMI, and the National Speakers Association (NSA). My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available in digital format on Amazon.com. What are you waiting for? Contact me here. Image source: Adobe Stock
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