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Colleagues holding question mark signs in front of their faces

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Asking questions effectively is a major underlying part of a manager's job, but one that most managers rarely think about, says Harvard Business Review:

"Asking the right questions is an essential skill of a great boss. Yet many fail to inquire enough."

Here are three types of questions you should be asking:

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1. Questions about yourself. Good managers ask themselves and others about what they could do better. Ask in a way that invites constructive, candid responses.

2. Questions about plans and projects. These should both advance the work and develop the people. Tough and direct questions are okay, as long as they are in the interest of progress.

3. Questions about the organization. Look for ways that the organization can function more effectively by questioning practices, processes and structures. Ask: Why do we do things this way? Is there a better approach?

This management tip was adapted from " The Art of Asking Questions" by Ron Ashkenas.

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