Many of us want to be successful and respected leaders in our fields. Even if you aren’t a leader of a huge company, or even if only a few paople look up to you as a leader, the bottom line is that some people are turning to you for ideas, help, and direction.
As you develop your leadership style, there are some questions you should be asking. Interestingly, for good leaders, many of the questions you ask will be about others — not yourself.
1. Where Do You Want to Go?
One of the best questions you should as a leader is, “Where do you want to go?” Understand what matters to your staff. A good leader wants to help his or her followers and employees reach their own goals. Sometimes that means allowing your workers to grow and develop in a way that results in newer, better jobs moving forward.
When you are willing to help your people develop and grow, they will perform better work while they are with you, and as they move on, your reputation as a good leader will grow.
2. How Can We Do This Differently?
Just because something has always been done one way doesn’t mean it should remain so. It often makes sense to change things up a little bit. Ask yourself how something can be done differently so that it’s better or more efficient. A good leader doesn’t just ask the question when alone, though. Don’t forget to ask your team members for their thoughts on making a change.
3. What are People Worried About, But Not Saying?
You want to be the kind of leader that people feel like they can talk to. This means asking questions about what others are saying. This isn’t about gossip. Instead, it’s about finding out what your team is concerned about, but no one says. When you ask this question, you need to be prepared for the answer — and you need to allow a safe space so that people aren’t afraid to be honest.
4. What Do You Think?
Get opinions from others in your circle. This can be your team at work, the people you manage, or others in your life. No matter who you are leading, you should take the time to ask them what they think. I was recently made the chair of a county political organization, and one of the first things I did was ask others what they think. I want good information before I move forward — and I don’t want to miss out on a good idea because I wasn’t willing to listen to others.
5. What Kind of Leader Do I Want to Be?
Finally, don’t forget to ask what kind of leader you want to be. Often, we forget to consider who we want to be as people and as leaders. Look at who you are now, and the kind of leader you are. Then, compare it to who you want to be in the future. We all should grow and learn every day, and move toward becoming the kind of people we want to be. Take the time to stop and ask yourself this question, and figure out what you are doing to make it happen, and you might be surprised at how you change (in positive ways) as a leader.