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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just-Ask Leadership: The final two chapters

Over the next week, I’ll be doing an in-depth review of Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Ask the Right Questions by Barry Cohen (McGraw Hill, September 2009).
This is the FINAL of several posts on Just Ask Leadersship.

Just-Ask Leadership: The final two chapters revolve around:

a. Create Better Decisions: Getting the right answers by asking the right questions. Here’s a few questions the author asks and takes a swing at: (Context) Who’s decision is it? When should I pick up a shovel and pitch in? In a crisis, is it better to ask or command? (Clarity) How does dissonance point to problems and opportunities? How can I seek clarification without being judgmental? What questions didn’t I ask? (Objectivity) What causes people to shut down and disengage from conversation? What should I do when I encounter conflicting data?

b. Motivate to Action—Asking for success. Great Jack Welch quote: “Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders [but doesn’t cross the line] of skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with actions.” Here are some great questions in this section: How do I generate a sense of urgency? What would you carve your name into next to the words [I] made this….? How can shared responses energize my coworkers? When should I use How and What questions? What is the difference between challenging and intimidating questions?

c. Final word from one of my favorite guys, Albert Einstein: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

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