0:00:00.1 S1: Today, my gift to you is a list of questions that will drive innovative thinkers on your team.
0:00:10.1 S2: The landscape of business is changing radically... Yeah, leadership is being taught the same hallway has always been to, when the world is changing, it's time to bring our leadership styles along for the ride, thanks to cutting edge neuroscience, we now have access to new tools and new language that inspires action, collaboration and innovation in the modern workplace, I started this podcast to bring you the best of these cutting at tools exercises as practices and modern leadership strategies every single week, whether you're a company leader, a corporate visionary or an entrepreneur, This show gives you new insights and senders, ene and language of leadership as well as practical steps and tips you can take back to the office so you can lead your team in a powerful way, keeping your people happy and engaged while achieving your biggest goals, because no one has ever changed the world by doing things the way they've always been done. I'm your host, Jen short. I'm a talent strategist, an executive coach, speaker in the founder of free or coaching. Now, let's fix leadership.
0:01:14.1 S1: It is true, the questions you ask can create teams full of innovative thinkers or teams full of people too scared to have an original thought, and I know we've been told a million times ask more questions as a leader, but the type of questions we ask makes a difference, some questions actually stifle thinking and innovation, and some questions create it, so let's start with questions... We shouldn't be asking questions that stifle innovation before we jump into questions that will create it. So here's what I would love for you to stop doing, stop asking why questions. As a coach many years ago, when I was going through my coach education are very first program I was in, it was one of the first things they kind of broke us up is asking why questions, and we're taught to ask why, why, why why? We're curious why, why, why? And I remember my mentor saying, we asked two-year-olds that question, Why did you cut your hair? Why did you spill your Cheerios? Why did you smash your brother's Lego set and it's this... You're in trouble. It's, why did you do that? Doesn't make sense to me, so I didn't know why.
0:02:30.2 S1: And so when you start to ask those why questions unconsciously, we're all back to that place of being in trouble, so don't ask why questions, and it's hard... Listen to yourself, believe me. It is so hard to get into that habit. I'm not saying why, but you will find yourself thinking in a whole new way, you'll find yourself thinking more creative with your questions when you stop using why questions, and here's kind of the adult version of the why question... And I used to say this all the time, I was taught to say this all the time, and as soon as I say it, I know everyone's gonna be like, Oh my gosh, yes. So the adult version of the why question is, Help me understand. So we all know in today's world, when our boss sets us down and says, Help us understand, we know we're in trouble, we know that we did something that they don't like, and we're gonna have to help them understand why we made that decision. So again, it's kind of the adult version of the why question, but let's stop taking the or let's stop the why questions, let's set them to the side and let's start talking about questions that actually do create innovation that are actually based in curiosity.
0:03:41.1 S1: And today I have 15 of those questions for you that we're gonna go through, so buckle up, grab a piece of paper, take some notes, and let's go through 15 great questions that create innovation. So let's start with insight building, sometimes we have to really gain some insight, and so a question that I have in this category is, what can we do to combine the best of our thinking, just imagine a table of 10 people throwing out ideas, and then the leaders stopping and saying, Alright, how do we combine the best of all this thinking, then people start to filter through the top ideas, get to the top, but no one is saying those are bad, it's like, How do we just combine what is good, and again, when you're focusing on what we're doing well, the fear starts to reduce and we get more creative, another question when you're building insight is what can we do to arrive at the best outcome? So again, it's not about how are we not gonna fall, how are we not gonna mess up, how are we... It's not a negative, and the work is always the same, but it's more of a positive spin around what can we do to arrive at the best outcome, it allows you to start talking about what that best outcome actually is and start to move towards it, and again, move towards innovations.
0:05:01.7 S1: Sometimes when we are innovative, we've gotta think about what's possible and what's possible is so much fun to be innovative around, and we don't do enough of that because we're too busy leading not to lose, and we're too busy trying to protect ourselves, and so we don't let our minds wander into the possibilities, but really start to lead your team there thinking about the possibilities, so here's a couple of questions in that category, what if we could wish for the impossible... What would we want? Well, that's a good one. What if we could wish for the impossible that starts to think, get people to think about possibilities, because though it's impossible, it doesn't mean you can't get close to it, there's a lot of things that we have in our life today that at one point would have been impossible, but someone didn't give up on it, and today it's possible for all of us...
0:05:55.6 S2: Let's take a quick break from the conversation, does your company need to prepare those upcoming leaders to take the reins to learn more about our leadership academies and our coaching, and to see if your company is a good fit for our transformation program. Is it 3-0 for coaching dot?
0:06:15.1 S1: The next question I wanna share with you is, if we had unlimited resources, what would we do... And I know that no one has unlimited resources, but seem big, and then back it down, because if you're thinking small and inching, you're never gonna get that big idea, but when you think without resources, you get the big idea and you can take the best of that big idea and bring it down into your resources, and that helps think about possibilities. Another great question is, what if we had everyone supporting us, what would we do and that getting that support is so important. If we didn't worry about what other people thought of us, what other people were gonna do to us, what other people... If they believed in us or not, and we just knew we had everyone support... What would we do? Sometimes when you're an innovation, you have to change perspective, so here's a few questions in that category, if we were someone else, what would we do... This question works in so many situations, because when you think about someone else and you think about how they might act, it's easier for you to think differently because you're not thinking with your own lens, you're thinking with the lens of someone else, if we started backwards, what would we do...
0:07:37.5 S1: So if we started at the impossible, what would we do? Instead of starting with, we only have this. So what can we do with that? And that is thinking backwards, what if we... What could be impossible? And how close can we get to that? What am I all-time favorite is, what if our assumptions were not true, what if we are assuming around this table wasn't true, what would we assume then... And that starts to change perspectives, 'cause we start to look at things a little differently, if we had no vested interest in this... How would we look at it? And when we are around a table at work, we have so much vested interest, and so when remove and pretend that we don't have vested interest and we can look at it anyway, we're not attached to the success of it, we start to change our perspective. We start to get more innovative. Sometimes you have to be thought-provoking as a leader to create innovation, and a couple of questions in that category could be what questions would guide this situation to a positive outcome, and you're getting the team to think with curiosity, you're getting them to think of questions...
0:08:52.7 S1: Another question you could add to help people think provocatively, what do we want to create? When you ask people what they wanna create, that is a really hard question to answer. It's really, really hard. It takes thought. And again, that's how you promote thinking is making someone pause, you don't give them an easy question, you give them a question where there's no right or wrong, it's just the opportunity to think something else, and one of the last categories for building innovation is idea development. We've been talking about building insight, what is possible? Perspective shifting thinking provocatively. Now, let's develop some ideas, so a couple of questions in this category could be, what don't we know, 'cause we always think we know a lot, so when you ask someone what we don't know, that starts to get interesting and starts to get a little fun... Where is this idea taking us, and that's a great way to kind of reset people back to what's possible, or what do we wanna create that big picture? Where does this idea take us, does it take it towards us... What intrigues us about this idea? Because that goes deeper. Right, here's a great idea.
0:10:15.9 S1: Everyone's like, Yes, that's great, alright, why do we think it's great, what is intriguing us about it, and that helps you go deeper and deeper into that idea and find the best nuggets. And the last question I wanna share with you today is if there were no obstacles, what would you want to happen, and that is a great way to help remove fear, helping someone see that, Hey, if there is no obstacles, what's possible if there were no obstacles, what could we do... And then when you start to think about if there were no obstacles, this is what we would do, it also provides you insight into what those stops tales might be and help you solve to those without it going into RI. What's gonna be the hard part? What do we gotta fix? All that stuff that we say, so that is my gift to you today, 15 questions to spark innovation. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you go out and get curious and use questions that build innovation, think about possibilities, the thought-provoking and enjoy your day and use these questions to fix leadership.
0:11:31.7 S2: Thanks for listening to Lexi leadership. By hanging out with me today, you're a party on your path, if you're looking to learn more and to see if your company is a good fit for coaching and leadership education, and Hey, visit 304 coaching dot com if you got value on this podcast, share it with a friend, and it would mean the world to me if you leave a thoughtful Rede and a rating on it. Thanks again for listening, and I appreciate your work and fixing leadership.