The A.R.T. of the Question – More Powerful Than a Locomotive (Part 4/4)
I was working with a Fortune 100 client for a couple of years. Not long ago he made the decision to take his team through our Leadership Development Program, The Art of Leading, Coaching, & Influencing Others ®. During one of our group coaching calls with his team, he shared this story:
“Joe, I have to tell you, I am finally and totally a firm believer in The Art of Asking Questions. We were presenting a new program to the C-Suite and a few of the VPs. Things weren’t going too well. People were pushing back and getting a little argumentative, and so I completely switched gears.
I just started asking questions — questions that helped everyone in the room understand and get to what the underlying beliefs and concerns were. The whole meeting shifted. By asking questions, I took what could have been a total and complete disaster and turned it into an incredibly productive meeting. Even our CIO complimented us on the results.”
I shared this story with you because I think it demonstrates what happens when you engage people in the conversation by asking questions. And it doesn’t matter if it is a 1-on-1 situation or a 1-on-20. It doesn’t matter if you’re facilitating a group, having a one-on-one
coaching session, or engaging an audience in a presentation. People have a normal tendency to push back on information that is being presented to them, whether it is because they don’t like change, they’re looking for a reason why you are wrong and they are right, they want to control everything, or any other reason that is about them and not about you.
When you ask questions, you invite the others involved into the discussion space where you can learn more about their underlying beliefs, and that gives you a higher probability of influencing them to change, accept, take action, or buy in.
The most important thing to remember is that asking questions is truly an art and something you need to practice if you really want to be a great leader, a great coach, and a powerful influencer. And yet, you will meet obstacles along the way…
(This is an excerpt from Joe’s Latest Book Extraordinary Results, Mastering the Art of Leading, Coaching, & Influencing Others)
To purchase the hardcover edition click here. (enter blog in the promo code and receive 15% off your purchase)