10 Questions to Ask Your Leader

From The Executive Secretary Magazine

Help prioritize and execute projects by asking your leader 10 questions says Hallie Warner

One of the most important parts of being a strong strategic partner and invaluable Force Multiplier is understanding how your leader or Executive thinks and makes decisions. And because many of our leaders are visionaries and have brilliant ideas on a daily basis, it is also our responsibility to help them prioritize those ideas and determine which are the most important ones to act on and which ones can wait. So, while it would be nice to be able to read his or her mind, that’s just not possible. In lieu of mind-reading capabilities, you can get better at understanding your leader’s decision-making process with some key practices, and, of course, by asking really great questions.

Be Curious

Like many Force Multipliers, I am the Queen of Questions. I have an insatiable curiosity that I believe is necessary when leading alongside an Executive. Why? Because it helps drive clarity in the conversation, helps to prioritize projects, and ultimately helps us all understand not only why we are making a decision, but who we will need to help execute, and how we’re going to get it done. One key component of leading up is challenging your Executive’s thinking, and what better way to do that than by asking questions that help them see a different perspective and strengthen their thinking?

Learn how your leader thinks

When I’m having these conversations with my leader, I’m learning how he thinks, how he makes decisions, what information he is triangulating, how he waits before moving ahead, and more. I can help move that process along by having a series of questions at my fingertips. While it helps move the decision making process along or helps clarify points for the rest of the team, it also is an excellent practice to help me hone my leadership skills and learn how my leader thinks and makes decisions, so I can be one step ahead in the future.

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