Great Leaders Raise Questions

Many people think the job of a leader is to answer questions. People want answers and they’re looking to you for answers.

Great leaders do more than answering questions. They take leadership to the next level.

Leaders who know what they’re doing know leaders also need to raise questions of those they’re leading.

Don't think you have to have all the answers

Image by Roy Watts

Taking people by the hand and leading them from point A to point B is easy. This is the beginning stages of leadership.

Someone asks a question, you answer. Someone has a problem, you solve the issue.

Beginner leadership is all about being the go-to answer person.

Stepping deeper into leadership, great leaders begin to realize they have to do more than be an answer dispensing machine. Almost anyone can fill this role.

There’s a greater role to play than the answer-man. Leaders who have been in leadership long enough knows this truth.

Raise Questions

The greater role of leadership is to be a leader who encourages the asking of questions. Not necessarily of those in leadership, though that is helpful as well, but to seek answers to questions the leader may not have asked.

I look to the Bible and see this played out time and again. Story after story makes me wonder why God did this or why God did that? It seems He filled the Bible with head-scratching puzzles.

But I know He did it for a reason.

When we allow people to raise questions, we allow them to dig deeper into the truths behind leadership, and our lives. Not knowing the full reasons behind certain stories makes me want to study ancient texts to discover more truth.

You can do the same thing as you lead. You can encourage your teams to dig deeper into the leadership truths you’re presenting to them.

How To Properly Raise Questions

You can’t leave people hanging for no good reason. This is a sign of bad leadership. Great leaders know they have to help their people raise questions but for a reason.

You also don’t leave out important information that is key to success. Doing so will set someone up for failure. And we don’t want that.

You’ve got to find the proper way to raising questions.

Provide the key information: Holding back key information will help people to raise questions, just not the proper questions. So don’t hold back information that is needed.

Instead, provide the information that is vital to success. Give them what they need to make a great decision.

But also leave enough room where they have the ability to choose one path or another. This allows them to think through the situation, gather information, and discover new questions.

Ask a question yourself: When you ask a question, you leave room for interpretation. Your team’s minds will begin to turn thinking of answers to the question.

Their minds will also wander to questions.

What does he really want? How can we accomplish the goal? Is there another way to doing this?

Open up the question raising by raising one yourself.

There’s nothing wrong with a leader leaving someone with a question. Great leaders inspire new questions.

So, don’t feel bad if people are asking questions, as long as they’re the right questions.

Question: Have you ever left a team member with a question that helped them dig deeper into the topic? Do you think this helped or hindered their progress? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.