Any Questions? (Something Every Leader Must Ask)

One of my weaknesses in leadership is failing to give enough details.

I am skilled at painting the big picture. I have tons of ideas. I can usually get people motivated, but often they have no idea what they are to do next. Knowing this about myself, I must constantly ask if people around me understand what I am trying to communicate.

This doesn’t come natural for me, but it is something I have tried to practice in my leadership. (You’d have to ask someone on my team if I’m any good at it.)

I know, therefore, and really regardless of your strengths and weaknesses, that there is one question every leader must ask.

The question is:

Any questions?

A leader must get feedback to make sure everyone on the team understands where he or she is leading the team.

The reality is that he or she carries the vision — usually lives it — it’s clear as mud to him or her — but sometimes that vision isn’t as clear to followers.

Team members need the freedom to ask questions, even if those questions seem to challenge the leader. While I also believe in giving respect to the position of leadership, the leader, in turn must respect followers — and one way we do this is to have patience with those that are simply trying to understand.

Leaders that refuse people the right to ask questions shut down the progress of the team. When people are left wondering or fear asking questions, they will soon stop offering any suggestions for improvement.

Any questions?

Leaders, are you insuring people know what you are trying to communicate? Do you allow feedback?

Have you ever had a leader that you couldn’t follow because he or she wouldn’t solicit or welcome questions?

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10 thoughts on “Any Questions? (Something Every Leader Must Ask)

  1. Great post! Our staff is learning that we make A LOT of assumptions when communicating to our volunteers. We know so much of the back story but we fail to give them that same amount of information and then expect them to perform as if they had it. we are trying to get better at asking if there are any questions but we are also trying to make sure that we aren't making any assumptions along the way either. Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Great post. I liken it to flying through the fog without instruments. You're just hoping to get it right. Questions help turn the instruments on so we know exactly where we're going.

  3. Clarity is key. It's also a good idea to repeat and/or ask people to repeat what they heard you say. Its not what you teach but what the student learns that counts… Communication is key!
    Thanks for sharing.