We hear all the time that we need to “listen more.” There are quotes that remind us to “listen with the intent of understanding, not responding.” We are even reminded that we have two ears and only one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk.
Ironically, we are told to listen so much that many of us have, well, stopped listening to the advice.
So you understand, at least intellectually, that you need to listen. But what are you listening to? From my perspective, one of the best ways to become a better listener, is to ask better questions. When you get someone talking in an interesting and passionate way, it can me easier (and more interesting) to just sit back and take it in. So with that in mind, here are some questions to consider when you want to learn more about any situation.
1. Tell me more about your organization.
2. What is the goal/mission of the company?
3. What is the BEST thing about your organization?
4. What are you most proud of?
5. When it comes to your field, why you?
6. Who is the “go to” person to learn about…?
7. How did you get here? Tell me about you.
8. Why did you choose to do this?
9. What is your biggest concern moving into the new quarter/month/year?
10. What is the biggest challenge you have right now?
11. Why does your organization do this?
12. Why is your company the best?
13. What do many people think about your company that is not (completely) true?
14. How can I help you?
15. How do customers (donors, etc.) find you?
16. If I could give you three wishes, what would they be?
17. What keeps you up at night?
18. What gets you going in the morning?
19. What is your company’s “why?”
20. When is your team at their best?
These are 20 great questions to get you started. But it’s only the beginning. What are some questions you see that help spark meaningful conversation? Let me know!