Getting Results Magazine Getting Results Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 5

The Art Of Asking Great Questions Y ou will never get a great answer or a great solution during a meeting by asking low-impact questions. Getting a great answer during a meeting can be as simple, or as difficult, as asking a great question to prompt it. A great question is going to be big and specific, and it will push you and your employees to find a great answer. A great answer is measurable and has associated metrics, so remaining wistfully unaccountable when it comes to a solution is not as easy as it otherwise would be. When considering the types of questions that should be asked at your meetings, consider the following graphic: THIS QUADRANT SYSTEM SHOWS FOUR POTENTIAL QUESTION TYPES: 1. 2. 3. 4. Small and broad – Average questions that occur first to most people. Answers cannot deliver any extraordinary results because the questions aren’t very good to begin with. For example, “How can I increase my sales?” Big and broad – These are too broad. They open the door to too many solutions and finding the best one can quickly become impossible: “How can I make my sales numbers double?” Small and specific – These would end up being simple questions that could have answers dependent on variables outside your control: “How can I improve sales by one percent?” Big and specific – Large goals with specific information. These cause you to stretch your imagination to find ways to solve them: “How can I double my sales this month?” TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS, FOCUS ON BIG AND SPECIFIC QUESTIONS. LIKEWISE, THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF ANSWERS: 1. 2. 3. | Source: Doug Wick, Extraordinary Results Require Great Answers Doable – Answers within your current level of knowledge, experience, and skill. These would be considered the “low hanging fruit” in this situation. Stretch – Harder to achieve than the doable answers would be. This type of solution is going to require background research and study. Possible – These solutions go beyond the first two. They are not guaranteed to succeed, but they are the ideal (best) outcome. Aim for the best possible answers during your meetings. Encourage employees and yourself to not only think outside the box but to not dismiss answers that may seem out of reach at first glance. Ben chmark your goals and practice asking great questions, finding the best solutions, and acting on them. With practice, you will find yourself trending toward the extraordinary results that you are aiming for. u FALL 2017 | 5