Judith Ross notes on HBR Blog that leaders need to ask questions that inspire folks to think in new ways, expand range of vision, and enable greater contribution to the organization. Both Judith and Michael suggest that empowering knowledge workers involve encouragement to be better thinkers and problem solvers.
Judith suggests that empowering questions create following values:
- They create clarity: "Can you explain more about this situation?"
- They construct better working relations: Instead of "Did you make your sales goal?" ask, "How have sales been going?"
- They help people think analytically and critically: "What are the consequences of going this route?"
- They inspire people to reflect and see things in fresh, unpredictable ways: "Why did this work?"
- They encourage breakthrough thinking: "Can that be done in any other way?"
- They challenge assumptions: "What do you think you will lose if you start sharing responsibility for the implementation process?"
- They create ownership of solutions: "Based on your experience, what do you suggest we do here?"