Two of My Favorite Questions for Leaders

The more I read, the more I learn about the highest achievers asking better questions than the rest of their peers.  So I continued to think about my favorite questions to ask, and I had to share with the group as these two questions have helped my career a great deal.

Question 1 – What does success look like?

Here are the reasons I love this question:

  1. It gets to the root of what your client is really looking to achieve.  Be specific.  How much? By when? What will you feel like when you get there?
  2. If you don’t know what success is, how on Earth can you come back in the future to discuss other ventures?
  3. I’ll admit, sometimes my version of success didn’t align with my client’s version.  Here’s a tip – their version is more important. 
  4. Understanding what success looks like may open up other opportunities to your relationship.
  5. Case studies sell.  Understanding what success is will help you with the before and after story for your case study.
  6. Success can be losing weight, hitting a revenue target, reducing production time, or growing market share.  Whatever it is can provide a strong point of focus for an entire team.  When the entire team knows what success is, there is a much higher likelihood of achievement.

Lastly, here are a couple versions of how I would ask this question:

  • If we were to partner up on “said agreement”, can you please tell me what success looks like three months down the road?
  • What does success look like for someone in your shoes?
  • Six months down the road, tell me what a successful partnership looks like in your eyes?

Question 2 – What more can I do for you?

Here are the reasons I love this question:

  1. Asking it with sincerity means you care.  If you care, your chances for winning go up exponentially and your relationship will thrive.
  2. It shows you’re not just a hired gun.  Don’t get me wrong, doing your job/task is super important.  Asking what more can be done is CRUSHING IT with your client.
  3. If you were a personal trainer and asked this question, it means you believe in your client outside of your 45-60 minute paid sessions.  It means you’ll be there for them for the long run.
  4. In the example above, I asked you to be specific.  In this example, I recommend being generic.  Don’t lead the witness to their problems or challenges.  Sometimes there could be a great deal of fear involved.  Let them tell you.  Respect and empathy will be earned by listening genuinely.
  5. Ask those you work with.  Note, I didn’t say “work for you.” Chances are they make your life better.  What can you do to make their lives better?

There is only one recommendation I can think of in regard to this question.  Do it frequently and do it with sincerity.

While reading Tony Robbin’s Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!, I came upon chapter 8.  Very telling for this post.  By the way, if you’re looking for a book to crush in 2015, the principles Tony teaches WILL help you.

Questions Are The Answer

Questions are the Answer

ACTION ITEM: I’d love it if you started using these two questions to your benefit this week.  I’d place a sizable bet, you’ll be encountered with the opportunity to ask one or both of these in the very near future.  Make the most of it!

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