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Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask, Revised and Updated



Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask, Revised and Updated

Michael J. Marquardt

ISBN: 978-1-118-83010-9 February 2014 Jossey-Bass 320 Pages


Many leaders are unaware of the amazing power of questions. Our conversations may be full of requests and demands, but all too often we are not asking for honest and informative answers, and we don’t know how to listen effectively to responses. When leaders start encouraging questions from their teams, however, they begin to see amazing results. Knowing the right questions to ask—and the right way to listen—will give any leader the skills to perform well in any situation, effectively communicate a vision to the team, and achieve lasting success across the organization.

Thoroughly revised and updated, Leading with Questions will help you encourage participation and teamwork, foster outside-the-box thinking, empower others, build relationships with customers, solve problems, and more. Michael Marquardt reveals how to determine which questions will lead to solutions to even the most challenging issues. He outlines specific techniques of active listening and follow-up, and helps you understand how questions can improve the way you work with individuals, teams, and organizations.

This new edition of Leading with Questions draws on interviews with thirty leaders, including eight whose stories are new to this edition. These interviews tell stories from a range of countries, including Singapore, Guyana, Korea, and Switzerland, and feature case studies from prominent firms such as DuPont, Alcoa, Novartis, and Cargill. A new chapter on problem-solving will help you apply questions to your toughest situations as a leader, and a new “Questions for Reflection” section at the end of each chapter will help you bring Marquardt’s message into all of your work as a leader.

Now more than ever, Leading with Questions is the definitive guide for becoming a stronger leader by identifying—and asking—the right questions.

Introduction 1

Part I The Power of Questions

1 An Underused Management Tool 11

2 Benefits of a Questioning Culture 31

Part II Asking Questions Effectively

3 Why We Have Trouble with Questions 63

4 Asking the Right Questions 83

5 The Art of Asking Questions 103

6 Creating a Questioning Culture 129

Part III A Guide for Leaders on When and How to Ask Powerful Questions

7 Using Questions in Managing People 151

8 Using Questions to Build Teams 177

9 Using Questions to Solve Problems 199

10 Using Questions to Shape Strategy and Enable Change 213

Conclusion: Becoming a Questioning Leader 239

Resource A: Biographies of Leaders Interviewed 247

Resource B: Action Learning: A Powerful Training Program for Developing Questioning Leaders 255

Resource C: Resources for Training and Information on Questioning Leadership 271

Notes 275

Acknowledgments 283

About the Author 287

Index 291