What can I be accountable to you for the next time we talk?101 Questions to Ask in One on Ones
In “101 Questions to Ask in One on Ones,” Jason Evanish provides an excellent list of questions to ensure your 1:1s are valuable.
Do you have a favorite question?
Most conversations start with a question. Maybe it’s, “How are you?” or “What did you think of the sportsball game?” or, here in the Northwest, “Another wet one, huh?” If you want to learn more about someone, you might ask, “So, what do you do?”
Depending on whom you ask, you might get a conversation in response, but the odds aren’t good. Likely, you’ll have missed an opportunity to learn something cool about the other person.
Having a great question can help.1Please be aware that results are not guaranteed to go the way you expect. I tried out my favorite question on my nephew at Thanksgiving, “So, what do you give a damn about?” His response: “The weather.” Haha! Time to follow up. “Why do you care so much about the weather?” Here are 155 to get you started:
I like the first “hot” question in Forbes’ list. Which one’s your favorite?
Sooner or later, most of us will need the advice of an expert. When we do, we won’t always know what questions to ask. That’s because knowing the right questions is part of what makes an expert an expert. Fortunately, there is a simple question you can ask:
“What should I be asking you?”
This question fundamentally changes the relationship. The expert, instead of merely answering your questions, is now responsible for ensuring you get answers to the right questions.
When you ask this question, you’ll see a visible change in the expert. The expert will stop, think, and then answer a question you didn’t know to ask. Moreover, this question will be one the expert, in her expert opinion, thinks you should have asked.
Honest questions are all inquiry and no advocacy.Greg McKeown
In my experience, it’s hard to ask honest questions. The Socratic method has been ingrained into me and leading people to the desired conclusion using questions feels normal. But to those facing the questions, I understand this can feel controlling.
Posting this quote is my attempt to recognize there’s another way to ask questions: not to teach people, but to learn from them.