Episode #168 Ask The Question

Why is my boss so evasive and confusing? Why are my employees so clueless and unproductive? This week, Dr. Michael Brown and recently hired COO Nick Gillispie offer a helpful communication strategy for young professionals and leaders alike.

Show Notes

I’m six months in, and sometimes I have to pull someone aside and say, "That meeting just happened, and so much was going on. Help me understand and read the room better.”
Nick Gillispie

Three Problems

  • Sometimes we know the right question, but we don’t know who to ask.
  • We often let our leaders off the hook for poor communication, and then we are the ones who suffer the consequences.
  • We struggle to ask questions because we would rather remain stuck than risk looking stupid.

Five Principles

  • One of the most important skills we can develop in life is to ask fantastic questions.
  • “Help me understand” can feel more humble and less threatening than, “Why?”
  • It is better to ask the question today than to learn the answer three weeks from now.
  • When we enter into a new role or workplace, asking fantastic questions brings us into the inner circle.
  • Sometimes gaining the perspectives of everyone in the room requires us to pull each person aside one by one rather than just asking the opinion of the larger group.

Three Practices

  • Don’t nod your head if you don’t understand.
  • Make a practice of asking those you lead, “If I’m not explaining something clearly, would you let me know?”
  • When the people you lead consistently miss the mark, consider looking inward to evaluate your own leadership.