Have you ever been in a meeting and thought about how much more work you would get done if you were spending your time elsewhere? If so, then you have fallen victim to an unproductive meeting. We’ve all been there. But, as leaders we have the capability to shift team culture and activate the potential of our meetings so that they serve a stronger purpose.
It’s likely you’ve heard the following questions come up during your last meeting: What does everyone think? What can we do differently? What comes next?
In order to make meetings more productive, it all comes down to the questions we ask and asking the RIGHT questions can greatly increase the productivity of your team meetings. Long Lever Questions elevate thinking, which enables teams to efficiently and fully address issues.
Below are three tips to help you craft and apply Long Lever Questions.
Asking something broad can sometimes cause confusion. If at the end of a meeting the meeting host asks, “what does everyone think?” leaders might be hesitant to answer since they may not be sure what the question is referring to. Are they being asked what everyone thinks about the problem at hand? Or perhaps what everyone thinks about the ideas that may have come up during the discussion? The uncertainty could keep some from speaking up. A Long Lever Question reduces that uncertainty by establishing a specific focus and is forward-focused. When applying this to the question posed above you could alternatively ask, “what does everyone think about the two solutions we outlined today?” or “what actions should we take to ensure our solutions are efficient and effective?”
Long Lever Questions build on general questions by using conjunctions and making questions more detailed—which in turn results in more thorough responses. Asking, “what can we do differently so our customers know this issue won’t happen again in the future?” might get you better responses than vaguely asking, “what can we do differently?”
During your next meeting, consider using one of the following conjunctions to elevate your questions to the next level:
As a leader it’s up to you to activate your team’s potential by inspiring others to think and act differently. Inspiring your team is valuable because it allows them to generate possibilities that bring success to themselves, the team and ultimately your organization. Challenge them and yourself to use Long Lever Questions. But remember, a question is only as valuable as the level of ability demonstrated in effectively listening and hearing the response. So, when you ask the questions allow your team to answer—it will empower your team to meet their full potential.
For more on Long Lever Questions check out the book ONE Team.
About the Author
Craig Ross is the CEO and president of Verus Global. Verus Global equips inspired leaders to activate the human potential in their organizations through talent and leadership development. For more than a decade, Craig has partnered with C-Suite executives, leaders, and teams elevating performance within global organizations and Fortune 100 companies. His understanding of current business trends and needs allows Craig to deliver innovative leadership strategies, equipping organizations to activate leaders, teams, and employees to meet their full potential. Learn more about Craig Ross and Verus Global.