We’ve all been in meetings where it feels like nothing gets accomplished. Everyone kind of goes through the motions and no one truly gets the kind of information that they need to be successful at their tasks. Meetings might be a time and resource drain, but one of the biggest problems with them is that people aren’t asking the right questions. Do you know how to ask questions in a way that gets you the answers that you need? Are you asking questions of the right people? Are you giving other people the right information? Learning the answers will help you to become more efficient and help your team accomplish its goals faster. Here’s how you can be asking questions to get good information.
Don’t Be Afraid To Question Authority
When we are scared to ask questions of authority figures, we invariably don’t get access to the information that we need. Authority figures aren’t only the gate keepers, they also tend to have an inordinate amount of information since so many people report to them or network with them. If you are working on a project with a small team, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your manager in order to get more direction. If you feel that you don’t have enough detail, make sure that you can ask questions of your superior. If you can’t question authority, then communication tends to break down in the workplace and things don’t get done.
Be Engaged And Listen To Others
Just as you are asking good questions of your bosses do the same for the people who work under you. You need to be engaged, listen to others, and encourage the free flow of information both inside of your team and between your team and management.
Ask Open Ended Questions
Sometimes, you only have a limited amount of time to ask for relevant information. It might be an email with a specialist who is working on various projects. Instead of asking a yes or no question, ask open ended questions to get as much information as possible.
Look For Specific Information That Can Help You Finish Tasks
Too often, we don’t ask for specific information that is relevant to our tasks. If you need to know when additional resources are going to be available for your team, make sure to be specific about your question so that you can get a legitimate answer. Learning to ask for the right information for your tasks isn’t always easy, but once you master it you’ll find that you are more efficient at your work projects.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.
* Team work photo by rawpixel.