Two questions for a leader to ask to access the wisdom within a team

  1. What might you have noticed that needs attention or change in this company/ organisation / business that I might not have noticed?
  2. What do you think, or feel should be done about it?

Then simply listen.

Make notes. Ask only clarifying questions. Do not challenge ideas. No need to defend yourself as leader. Promise to think about each idea. Be clear – let everyone know what will be done and why.

Before you begin the process set the context:

  • Remember that everyone in an organisation has the choice to be equal as thinkers.
  • Set the scene that everyone has a turn to speak, make sure that they do
  • Remind everyone that when you know you will have your turn the quality of your listening improves dramatically.
  • Encourage everyone to take their time
  • Make this an interruption free process

Benefits to you, your team, your company:

  • situations can be diffused before they become out of proportion
  • new paths open up
  • commitment and involvement increase
  • opportunity to access ideas better than one’s own
  • meetings with better, exciting, visionary and more concrete outcomes
  • teams who raise their game, work splendidly together, respect each other

Remember that listening:

  • doesn’t commit you to anything
  • gives you access to wisdom, knowledge, ideas
  • encourages liberation of good thinking
  • everyone in team/organisation, can benefit
  • develops a secure foundation of trust
  • needs practice!