How to Ask the Right Questions!

By | April 13, 2017

Are you frustrated when you think you are taking awesome steps to share information and engage people in a two-way dialogue by asking questions and then you don’t get the results you were hoping for? Let’s talk about How to Ask the Right Questions and foster real employee engagement!

As a leader who is trying to drive organizational change, you are well aware of how important it is to provide opportunities for your staff to participate in the process. But it’s really hard and many managers don’t have an awareness of how they can engage and enable their staff to be resilient in the face of change.


How do you talk to staff? Are you doing too much telling? Are you doing too much fixing? Are you asking enough questions?

Too much telling and too much fixing is not helpful – even if you think you are helping. Employees can become less engaged and feel less empowered when leaders tell and fix and this leads to lower levels of employee engagement – the bottom line is that this is the perfect environment for resistance to change. Change is hard enough without doing things that cause people to become more resistant!

What is the best starting point?

As the leader of a change initiative, start with sharing your vision and why it is so important for the organization. Let them know how the change will or will not impact them or their role with the organization.

Employee participation!

Provide opportunities…lots of opportunities for staff to become involved as early as possible in developing the new product or service. Why is this important? Are your staff in the very best position to understand the details that would need to be part of the process to develop a service/product? Yes, they are in the best position and the incredible value with this approach is the likelihood is that your staff will embrace the change and use the new product or service.  Believe in your staff and just watch what happens.

Okay, so we have communication, the best way to start and employee participation to get the change moving but something is missing…you aren’t getting the results you hoped for! What is missing?

Ask the Right Questions!!

Here are some tips…try them out.

You have just shared your vision for the change initiative…

  • How are you feeling about this change?
  • What issues do you see with this change? How could these issues be overcome?
  • What do you see as the first step?

Fostering an environment of employee participation…

  • What part of this change would you like to be involved in?
  • What needs to happen for you to want to be involved?
  • What does the best result look like?

Dealing with resistance…

  • How are you feeling about this change right now?
  • What needs to happen for you to better understand why the change is occurring right now?
  • What steps can you take right now to become more involved in developing the new product/service?

Supporting people…

  • What can I do to support you in becoming more involved?
  • What can you do to feel better about the change?
  • If you could change something about this initiative, what would it be?

Let’s end with this marvelous quote:

“We all have innate wisdom, we just need to be asked the right question.”Plato

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have any questions about this post or any of my other posts, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you. Here is a link to my profile.

All the best!

Miles offers change management consulting and executive coaching in Canada & internationally to boost organizational performance. Contact Miles for a free 20 minute consultation at 403.977.1401.


2 thoughts on “How to Ask the Right Questions!

  1. Kelli

    Change!! The older I get the more change seems to pop up. I have lived through many major changes. I have learned to embrace change. I do not manage employees but can sure use some of the things I found on this site to improve my communication skills. Thanks Miles

    1. admin

      Hi Kelli! I’m not sure it’s because we are getting older…the pace of scientific and technological change is happening faster than people’s ability to adapt, regardless of age. Thank you for taking the time to review and comment and keep on “asking those great questions!”



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