Think of the scenarios in which you begin the dialogue with a question (just like this post). Maybe it’s an interview with a potential candidate for a critical role at your organization. Or maybe it’s an initial phone call with a potential candidate describing the services your team can offer. Or maybe it’s a question you ask yourself as you complete a project.

The majority of our effective interactions with people involve meaningful questions. Listen for this in your next few discussions. Then listen for the questions people use to get to the heart of the needed conversation. Are they the right ones?

The right questions provide the following:

1. Critical thinking – asking beyond the obvious; pushing for more. Generally, it’s open-ended.

2. Inspiration – allowing you to see possibilities that didn’t exist before you asked the question.

3. Effective evaluation – measuring the good and bad of an outcome.

Asking average, expected, ordinary questions will generally lead to average, expected (you get it) answers. But asking stimulating, thought-provoking, unexpected questions will lead to ____________ better results.

Probably the true test of a great question is, how long it takes to receive an answer. The longer the wait, generally the more thought-stimulating. Start counting the seconds.

The quality of your life could be determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Maybe the best question to ask is, “What is the most important question right now?”