A leading question is used to invoke conversation, an attempt to get someone else to communicate about their understanding of facts, knowledge, or feelings. From a legal perspective, a leading question is often used to get someone to answer the question in a specific way, leading them to often incriminate themselves or someone else.
At times, leaders may need to use both. However, the primary approach for today’s post is to consider the need for leading or opening questions to promote communication.
The purpose behind encouraging communication with others is threefold:
1) When others are encouraged to communicate, they respond in interesting ways. Suddenly, their confidence level increases. They feel appreciated and important. Is this not the purpose of leading?
2) We learn more by listening to others. We learn about how they feel, their desires, struggles, joys, sorrows, and what motivates them. Knowing these areas aids our ability to lead them.
3) Another significant result is a powerful learning environment. Leaders will be surprised with what is learned when the creative minds of followers are unleashed in this setting.
The results are worth the effort for leaders.