Just ask leadership

Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions

by Gary Cohen
Executive Coach and Managing Partner – CO2 Coaching

Just Ask Leadership: Why great managers always ask the right questions

Introduction: The Power of Questions in Just Ask Leadership

Just Ask Leadership isn’t just a concept; it’s a transformative approach to management. Emphasized in Gary B. Cohen’s influential book, “Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions,” this methodology redefines traditional leadership paradigms, advocating for the power of inquiry over directive methods.

Bridging the Gap in Leadership Styles

A revealing CO2 survey showed that although 95% of leaders prefer to be engaged through questions, they tend to issue instructions 58% of the time. This stark contrast underscores a critical need for adopting Just Ask Leadership principles to foster more innovative, autonomous, and motivated teams.

Core Tenets of Just Ask

Gary B. Cohen’s “Just Ask Leadership” is not merely a guide but a blueprint for leaders aspiring to make a real impact. Based on insights from over a hundred diverse leaders, the book underscores key areas where asking can make a significant difference:

  1. Vision Enhancement: Shifting focus to forward-thinking questions that align individual aspirations with the broader organizational goals.
  2. Accountability Promotion: Cultivating a sense of responsibility through introspective and reflective questioning.
  3. Unity and Cooperation Strengthening: Leveraging collaborative queries to enhance teamwork and joint problem-solving.
  4. Decision-Making Improvement: Advancing the decision-making process by valuing diverse viewpoints and critical thinking.
  5. Action and Innovation Stimulation: Spurring creativity and action through challenging, thought-provoking questions.

The Impact of Questions in Leadership

Transitioning to Just Ask Leadership is more than a communication tweak—it’s about adopting a mindset that values curiosity and active listening. Leaders must master the art of asking open, engaging questions to unlock new ideas and perspectives.

Implementing Question-Led Leadership

Embracing Just Ask Leadership requires leaders to cultivate an authentic curiosity and a strong commitment to listening. This involves honing their skills in posing open-ended, stimulating questions that drive deeper engagement and problem-solving.

Real-World Examples and Research

The efficacy of Just Ask Leadership is evident in multiple case studies. For instance, a tech company that embraced this approach witnessed a 30% surge in employee engagement and a notable increase in innovative outputs.

Leading by Asking

Just Ask Leadership offers a refreshing approach to leadership and management. By encouraging a questioning culture, leaders not only empower their teams but also foster an environment ripe for growth and innovation. Gary B. Cohen’s “Just Ask Leadership” eloquently guides this journey, proving that sometimes, the most effective way to lead is simply to ask.