The quality of your life is, to a degree, directly related to the quality of the questions you ask.

This is a fairly common concept expressed in various ways. As a leadership and communication expert, I believe that:

 The quality of your leadership is related to the quality of the questions you ask.

Obviously, this means that the types of questions you ask your team, such as open ended vs. closed ended, can have a huge impact on your leadership success. It also means that the types of questions you ask yourself as a leader matter. 

If you want to positively impact your team’s productivity, if you want to do your part to enhance employee engagement and reduce turnover, if you want to become the type of leader others want to work with and for, ask yourself:

How do I want the people I lead to feel?

Research is very clear that how people feel at work, particularly how their leader makes them feel, is a key driver of engagement, retention, teamwork, productivity, and more. If you are like most high-caliber leaders, you want people to feel:

  • appreciated
  • respected
  • empowered
  • confident
  • trusted
  • challenged
  • energized
  • valued

When people feel valued and respected, for example, they are more likely to stay engaged and committed. In contrast, when employees don’t think their leader appreciates them or if they feel they “work for a jerk” they are highly likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Is the way you are communicating congruent with how you want people to feel? Are you choosing the words that build people up or the words that tear people down? Are you unwittingly sabotaging in your success by bad communication habits such as asking, “Are you busy?”

 If you would like to communicate in a way that is congruent with the positive feelings you would like to people to have, if you would like to avoid sabotaging your leadership success with poor communication choices, and you would like to enhance employee engagement by communicating as a “power to” leader instead of a “power over” leader, I invite you to join my upcoming webinar “High Caliber Communication.”

High caliber leaders and professionals know the questions they ask of themselves can be just as important as the questions they ask of others. Asking, “How do I want my employees (my boss, my friends, my audience, my family, my party guests…) to feel?” in any given situation can help you make communication choices that yield positive results.

Pamela Jett is a communication skills and leadership expert who knows that words matter! In her keynote presentations, workshops, books and online learning programs, she moves beyond communication theory into practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to create the kind of leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement results her clients want.