Asking The Right Questions


Powerful questions asked by you as a leader illuminate the darkness, confusion and uncertainty in the minds of the people you are leading. By asking the right questions, you invite clarity, action, and discovery at a whole new level within your organization.

3 Powerful Questions Every Leader Needs to Ask:

  1. What Seems to Be Happening? Get clear on what the issue really is. Seek to understand where the organization is truly at. Until you understand the situation completely, you and your team will never be able to make the improvements you want to see.
  2. What Possibilities Do We Face? As a result of the situation you are in, what can you do to be even better as a result of it? Great leaders see problems as possibilities to become even stronger as an organization. They look at operational challenges as opportunities to become leaders in that area. Help your team understand that while things may not be great today, they control tomorrow.
  3. What Are We Going To Do About It? By creating a true, cooperative environment where your team feels like they can fully engage with you in an open, honest, and fact-based conversation you will create synergy that other organizations only dream about.

One of the key things a leader has to do is to immerse themselves into the situation and become part of the solution versus approaching it from the standpoint of “it’s not my problem, it’s yours”.

Defensiveness, denial, and deflection are not what an organization needs when facing a problem. Great leaders understand that they are accountable for everything that happens on the team and by including themselves in the solution they provide a true feeling of teamwork and accountability. When leaders exhibit this kind of accountability it serves as a beacon for the rest of the organization and builds the right culture to support a healthy team.

By asking the questions as leaders with ourselves as part of the solution we can open up honest dialogue about a problem and can help facilitate a solution much quicker and eliminate the bureaucracy. This sets the stage to create an empowered culture in our organizations to help our teams perform more confidently in the future whenever difficult situations arise.

Generally speaking, the most best questions you can ask are the open-ended ones, but the most powerful questions are asked with YOU in the equation.

Sometimes the best question you ask is the one you already know the answer to, but by doing so you are giving your team a platform to succeed by sharing their ideas and owning the solutions.

Published by

Bobby Shaw

I am a former restaurant company executive with a passion for developing existing and future leaders to achieve high standards. I love helping organizations develop strong people cultures with an emphasis on leadership development that result in top-notch operations and better business results. I have over 30 years in the restaurant business in all facets of operations, from my start at McDonald's in the grill area in 1984 to overseeing 200+ restaurants with Chipotle Mexican Grill from 2002-2012 to leading Freebirds World Burrito's resurgence from 2013-2016 to working with the Salad and Go restaurant startup as CEO in 2016/2017. My real world experience transcends the typical operations background with a focus in leadership development and coaching. At the core of my background and experience, I believe that how leaders get results is just as important as getting them, and what got them where they are, won't necessarily get them where they want to go. I work closely with individual leaders and companies to improve their results through understanding how their strengths impact the overall results. My goal is to help business leaders and companies learn how to leverage the strengths of their employees by understanding their strengths and what they’re good at, and using that knowledge to positively impact their entire organization.

Leave a Reply