As leaders, we can either have a team full of innovative thinkers or a team too scared to share their thoughts and ideas. This distinction is driven entirely by the kinds of questions we’re asking.
We can stifle creativity or encourage it based solely on what we say. As a gift to you, I’ve compiled a list of 15 questions that will create tons of creativity and innovation, while fostering the kind of environment that will help your organizations thrive.
So grab a notebook, start using these questions, and see what they will do for your team!
When we focus on what we’re doing well, the fear starts to reduce and we get more creative. - Jen Thornton
Three Things To Take Away From This Episode
Stop asking “why”
Anytime someone asks us “why”, we’re immediately reverted back to being in trouble as children, so we can’t expect a why-based question to get people into an innovative state. The grown-up workplace version of why is “help me understand.” As soon as we ask “why?”, consider all innovation dead and gone.
Tap into the possibilities
Nothing stifles our creativity and innovation like feeling limited, so why don’t we use language and ask questions that make our people feel like the possibilities are endless? Ask them what they’d do if resources were unlimited. It allows people to think big and take the guardrails off their minds, which produces great results.
Change your perspective
When we feel stuck on an idea or a project, nothing makes a big impact like a little change in perspective. Ask people if they were someone else, what they’d do differently. It’s a small tweak, but it gets the innovation going because they see the situation through a different lens.