Master the Art of Asking Powerful Questions with a Questions Journal

Whether you are new to the leadership game or have been leading others for years, it’s never too early or too late to learn how to be a great leader. And while there are endless ways to level up your leadership skills, today we are going to focus on the art of asking impactful questions. I may even venture so far as to say that it is THE most important skill a leader can develop. Yes, this goes for Force Multipliers too!

Tim Ferriss says, “The way you become world-class is… by asking good questions.” And I agree. Confident people are not the loudest or smartest in the room. Confident people are usually the ones who listen and ask powerful questions! Humility and curiosity are marks of a great leader. And what better way to demonstrate those two qualities than by accepting that you don’t have all the answers, and being curious enough to ask questions, get new ideas (even if they aren’t yours), or listen to new perspectives. You never know what question (and subsequent answer) could change the trajectory of your career, your company, or your life.

“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions,
and as a result, they get better answers.”

Tony Robbins

Mastering the art of asking powerful questions is actually a unique skill-set Force Multipliers can bring to their organization. Oftentimes, Chiefs of Staff or Executive Assistants may not necessarily be a subject matter expert like the CFO (finance), CTO (technology), or CMO (marketing strategy); however, they can absolutely become an expert at asking the best and most impactful questions. And, as I mentioned above, I would argue that that is the most important thing any leader can do.

So, how does one become better at asking the right questions at the right time? Intentional practice! Enter, what I call, the Questions Journal.

What is The Questions Journal?

The Questions Journal is incredibly simple. It’s exactly like what it sounds like. A place where you take notes of all the great questions you hear, that you ask, that others ask you, that you see on Instagram, that you are asked in an interview, that your kids ask you at bedtime, etc. I use a simple Excel spreadsheet to capture great questions. But a physical notebook or app like Notion or Evernote would work well too!

Here are the additional benefits of, and ways to use, a Questions Journal:
  • CAPTURE – By the very fact that you have committed to keep a Questions Journal, your radar will be up and you’ll be listening, and looking, for great questions to add. Where before you may have just forgotten a question that was asked at a conference, you are now capturing that question and filing it away for future use.
  • REVIEW – Set aside time in your calendar at least once a month, but weekly would be ideal, to review the questions that you’ve captured. Think about who you might ask those questions to. What scenarios might you use one of those questions in? Perhaps you start segmenting your questions into categories – Hiring, Executive Leadership Team, Client Engagement, etc. Did you forget to add a great question to your journal that week? Well, there’s no time like the present! Making time to review the questions that you collect will ensure that you are ready with the right question right when you need it.
  • PRACTICE – There is no such thing as a stupid question (within reason, okay?)! Stay curious. Practice asking all sorts of questions. Even a Yes/No question has its place, if done intentionally. Take a question from your Questions Journal each week and post it on social media. Practice asking one really thought provoking question in each leadership team meeting. You can even try only asking questions in the next conversation you’re in. It’s harder than you think!

Put asking guest questions at the top of your priority list – not having all the answers, not being the fastest Googler out there, not being the one who has to share all the time. Be the one with all the questions. Use a Questions Journal to help you master the art of asking powerful questions and trust me, it actually unlocks all the answers.

What are some of your favorite questions to ask? What is the strangest question you’ve ever been asked? Share in the comments and start adding these questions to your Questions Journal!

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