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Questions that prompt exploration, innovation and shifting perspectives within leaders

Asking questions has always played a role in leadership, but it’s more vital than ever in today’s fast-changing digital landscape. Here are the questions leaders and their colleagues should be asking to prompt exploration, innovation and shifting perspectives.

Questions to help you dig deeper:

What else?

What is beneath that?

What are your underlying needs?

What do you think the other person wants?

Why do you think you reacted that way?

What are your emotions telling you?

What is your intellect telling you?

What’s really going on?

Is there a bigger picture?

What drives that response/behavior/performance?

How can it get even better?

Questions to help you get more contextual information:

Can you give me more insight into the context?

Who is around you?

What are your support mechanisms?

What is your responsibility as defined by your job description?

Questions to help you shift or change perspective:

How can you look at this another way?

What is another person’s perspective?

Are there other options?

If you were an observer what would you notice?

What’s the 10,000 foot perspective?

Who looks at this from another angle?

If you stood on the table/on the moon what would your perspective be?

If you were 5 years in the future what would you say about this situation?

Questions to elicit innovative or creative thinking:

What’s a metaphor for this?

What’s possible?

What’s a backward way to get at this?

Is there a different way to approach it?

What are you dissatisfied with?

What are the opportunities?

What would an amazing breakthrough look/smell/sound/feel like?

What resources do you need?

How would this work in an ideal world?

What’s a new way to think about it?

How could you tap into your creative brain about this?

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