Skip to main content

Colleagues holding question mark signs in front of their faces

Jacob Wackerhausen/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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:

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.