Great leaders tend to listen more than they speak. They also tend to ask questions more often than they pontificate about the right or wrong way to do things. They have discovered that rather than telling people how things should be done, it tends to stick much better in the person’s brain if they find the answer themselves through a certain line of questioning.

If you want the best possible talent working for you and you want to do all you can to make sure they’re happy and fulfilled in their job, I have a simple piece of advice: ask more questions. Here are a few that have the potential to do great things.

Is there anything else? This is a question that, in the right context, you should ask repeatedly. Often, once isn’t enough. You ask, “is there anything else,” and the other person simply follows the most common script: “no,” they move on and nothing really changes. Find out when the right time is to press more. If you ask another way, “is there anything else,” you may find that there is indeed something else, it just needed to be coaxed out.

If we could not fail, what would we do? It’s important to challenge our teams to not only think above and beyond, but to go there as well. It helps to put them in a mindset where anything is possible, where potentially big ideas are simply doors to be opened. Because dreaming big things leads to doing big things. If you want your employees to do big things, challenge them to think about them as often as you can.

What can I do to help you be your best? This question is all about displaying your support but it does another important thing that questions in general do, and that is place the power in the hands of the answerer. This will simultaneously show your support for that person as an individual but also help create an open and supportive work environment for all.

What other questions do you find yourself asking your employees repeatedly? What kind of results do you typically see? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

photo credit: IC405 & IC410 in hydrogen via photopin (license)