Questions hold the key to the doors of effective communication. But they can do more than open doors. They can help you develop Leadership Intimacy. The sum of how you as a leader apply your emotion, cognition, behavior, and communication determines how effectively you will be able to inspire action, motivate engagement, and mobilize performance.
Leaders can begin to build Leadership Intimacy with intimate questions. What are intimate questions?
Intimate questions enable you to personalize your leadership approach and help you adapt to the needs and aspirations of your employees, team, peers, and manager as they apply to each individual.
Only intimate questions can uncover what you need to know in order to develop an accurate understanding of others and to flex your style to accommodate that understanding.
When you ask Intimate questions—questions that go to the heart of an issue—you not only get better answers, you build rapport and strengthen relationships. Intimate questions enable you to personalize your leadership approach and identify specific ways in which you can motivate others toward higher performance and commitment.
The typical polite inquiries people use throughout the day to be cordial do little to build intimacy or rapport. They can actually do more harm than good to a working relationship.
Sincere inquiries into specific issues show you know what concerns someone. They demonstrate your interest, understanding, and concern. They show that you really want to know something and that you’re not merely going through the motions of social interaction.
The same goes for goodbye greetings. “Let me know how your next presentation goes,” builds much stronger bonds than, “Good luck.”
Do you feel comfortable asking questions? What about intimate questions? How do you feel when you have to ask someone a very personal question?
If you want to enable intimate questioning for yourself or your leaders, join us in our next CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop. You will work with other leaders who will also be learning what a profound impact intimate questions can have on their development as leaders.
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