Priming the Pump

Questions are the best way to prime the pump of constructive conversations with your people.  Your role as an outstanding leader and model of effective leadership  depends more upon asking the right questions than upon having the right answers.
In recents reflections and sessions we have talked about the importance of appreciative questions so I thought this list of a year’s worth if  “pump-priming” probes might be useful to you in your one-on-ones, coaching and team conversations:
  • What do you think (before you give your opinion)?
  • Can you tell me more…I would like to better understand your perspective on this.
  • What are we going to have to do as a team to get through this tough year?
  • How much do you feel a part of this team?
  • How is the work you are doing aligned with your own core values?
  • Imagine it is March 31, 2012 and we are celebrating our fantastic success. We achieved more than we ever imagined.  What happened that brought us here?
  • If you were a well-respected consultant in our industry, what advice would you give this company?
  • What have you done in the last month that really excited you?
  • I want to understand every roadblock you perceive in the way of making you successful.
  • How well do you feel you are adapting to the changes taking place?
  • If you could make one improvement to the way we work, what would it be?
  • What disincentives to taking initiative would a visitor observe in our company?
  • What can we do unto our reports that we would like them to do unto our clients and customers?
  • What can we do as individuals and as a team, to ensure we meet our professional aspirations?
  • How is the work that you are doing giving you a sense of satisfaction?
  • What’s the best thing we can do for our clients or customers today?
  • What is it that you and your team are doing well that we should be recognizing you for?
  • What are you going to do today to help at least one person thrive?
  • What can I do to be a beneficial presence at work?
  • What do you as a person and in your role want to contribute to our collective dream?
  • What most gets in the way of our team performing at higher levels, and what can we do about it?
  • In what ways do you recognize your team and your reports for good work?
  • What progress have you made on your “One BigThing”?
  • How could you personally contribute to what needs to be done in the organization?
  • If you were in charge, what’s the first thing you would change, and with what intention?
  • What should we stop doing, start doing and continue to do, to make sure F12 is our best year yet?
  • What influence do you feel you have over the big decisions that affect your work?
  • How are we going to raise the bar for ourselves next month.
  • If profit is the applause that clients and consumers give us for doing our job well, how much success will we have this year?
  • What is the one thing you can do right now to enhance your own engagement in our organization?
  • If you were managing you, what would you be sure to do, and not do?
  • What is the next step in moving our team from good to great?
  • When do you feel appreciated the most, here at work?
  • What is the most important achievement you’d like to make here?
  • What are the top three ingredients you need to be fully engaged?
  • In what ways does your work contribute to achieving our strategic goals?
  • If you could wave the magic wand, what one change in you would make the biggest positive difference?
  • What can I do to help you make yourself better?
©Copyright 2011 – Amauta International, LLC. 
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