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Human minds react well to questions – much better than to statements, and certainly way better than to instructions or orders.

Questions immediately get us thinking – sometimes about things we would not ordinarily unearth, but that we mind well find pleasure in digging up.

Sometimes we think about things that others would never ordinarily know, but that it might serve all of us well if they did know.

Why not try starting EVERY business meeting with a positive question that everyone answers – with a time limit – say 30 seconds, or 1 minute. (The time limit is never meant to shut people down; it’s intended to keep to the agenda, and, most importantly, to ensure that everyone gets an EQUAL turn to express their thoughts.

Try questions like :
• What acknowledgement would you like to give yourself?
• What have you been successful at in the last 6 to 9 months?
• What is a small but wonderful thing in your life at the moment?
• What would you like to be able to say next year about this year?
• What do you value most in your organisation?
• What or who has helped make you who you are at this point in your life?
• What would you like us to celebrate with you since we last met?

The rule, after each question has been asked is that everyone must listen to the answer without interruption. Really listen – no looking at cell phones etc. The thinker must receive your full attention.

You’ll find out more about the people you work with more quickly than you ever thought possible. You’ll learn what’s under the surface, what makes them tick.

And, while you’re learning, you’ll find that you’re building trust in your team simply because you care enough to ask, and then to listen with your full attention.

You might want to make a habit of this.