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Leadership – Ask probing questions to learn from others

John Maxwell’s leadership blog shares excellent advice on preparing good probing questions in advance. This is beneficial when interviewing users, executives, or others involved in IT or business projects.

Whenever I am preparing for a meeting with someone, I spend time determining what questions I want to ask. I do this because I want to make the most of the time I have, but I also do it to engage with the other person. I want people to know that I value them, and that, if possible, I want to add value to them. To do that, I believe I must get to know them. That requires that I ask questions, they talk, and I listen. And if I hope to receive value from people, again I need to ask questions and listen. You can’t do these things unless you get to know people.

But there are some questions I try to ask everyone. You may want to use them too:

1. What is the greatest lesson you have learned? — By asking this question I seek their wisdom.

2. What are you learning now? — This question allows me to benefit from their passion.

3. How has failure shaped your life? — This question gives insight into their attitude.

4. Who do you know whom I should know? — This allows me to engage with their network.

5. What have you read that I should read? — This question directs my personal growth.

6. What have you done that I should do? — This helps me seek new experiences.

7. How can I add value to you? — This shows my gratitude and desire to add value to them.

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