Avoid initial statements and ask questions instead. Keep your questions simple because there is power in a well-placed question. And remember, make sure you pause after the question to allow the respondent to gather their thoughts.
These are seven of my favorite questions in general communication or facilitating a group.
My Favorite, “What Surprised You Most?
This is a surprisingly powerful question (notice the pun). It is equally applicable during a meeting or after one. In fact, I prefer to use it after the meeting when everyone in your inner circle is rushing to express their opinions.
Avoid the tendency to make a statement. Instead, capture the team by going round-robin with the simple question, “What surprised you most?”
Six Additional Favorites
Why is this important?
What is the challenge?
What is holding us back?
What are we missing?
What are some additional options?
Applying in Practice
Simple questions are powerful in gauging opinion, managing the group, and developing recommendations based on where the herd is moving. Avoid making initial statements and, instead, ask simple questions.