7 Ways Leaders Can Ask Better Questions

Collaborative bosses can use curiosity to escape the echo chamber of their own ideas

Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

The 7 Sins of Questioning

1. Question stacking

Don’t try using the Socratic method as a “teaching moment.” It’s annoying and arrogant.

2. Leading questions

3. “Why” questions

4. Dirty questions

Self-affirming questions seek to make the asker feel good rather than to reveal the truth of the situation.

5. Binary questions

6. Self-affirming questions

7. Aggressive questioning

Excerpted from Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say — and What You Don’t by L. David Marquet with permission of Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © L. David Marquet, 2020.

Former submarine commander, founder of IBL, bestselling author of Leadership is Language and Turn the Ship Around! Creator of Leadership Nudges on YouTube.

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