“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” ~Peter Drucker
What is your development plan for growing as a leader? The Law of Curiosity says growth is stimulated by asking Why? Curious people possess a thirst for knowledge and they live in a constant state of wanting to learn more. Asking questions can actually do more than just make you smarter and help you learn more new things—it can also make you a better leader. Curiosity is critical to growing as a leader.
Three areas where questions help you as a leader:
1. When you ask employees questions about their lives, it helps you to connect with them. It also lets them know that you care. When you ask questions about what is going on in the organization, you learn information that can help you make better decisions. When you ask for their ideas and opinions, you get better options and sometimes get out-of-the-box solutions.
2. You also become a better leader when you answer questions from employees with another question. When they ask a hard or tricky question, reply back with, “What do you think we should do?” This gives them the opportunity to find the answers themselves. When we are given this opportunity, most of the time, we realize we actually know more than we think we do. Good leaders give people the tools to answer their own questions.
3. You have heard the truism that you learn from your experiences, especially your mistakes and failures. You only learn if you evaluate and reflect on your experiences. This begins with asking you questions. Why did I do it this way? What could I have done differently? What do I need to change before I do this again? You can come up with many other questions to help you reflect.
I have found throughout my career that the more curious I am and the more questions I ask, the more I learn and grow as a leader. You can learn much from books and courses but there is an unlimited source of information and knowledge around you if you take the time to be curious and ask questions.
John Maxwell has said, “The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, poke at it, question it, and turn it inside out.” He describes the process like this: Questions precede discovery. Discovery precedes action. Action precedes change.
If you want to make changes in your leadership or organization, if you want to grow as a leader, if you want to grow your organization, then be like Peter Drucker in his quote above and make asking questions your greatest strength.