Knowing how to ask the right questions is a key skill for every successful professional. Gary B. Cohen’s book, Just Ask Leadership – Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions is a reminder that people are a company’s most important resource and that listening is so much more important than talking.
I’ve written about how important it is to be a good listener, and believe it is a crucial skill for job seekers and all careerists. Gary’s book starts out by asking, “Would you rather be asked for your input or told what to do?” (p. 1).
He describes how CEOs and managers can help their organizations succeed by instilling a value on listening and asking questions. He focuses on five important topics:
- Improving vision.
- Ensuring accountability.
- Building unity and cooperation and creating a culture of trust.
- Creating better decisions and getting the right answers by asking the right questions.
- Motivate to action – asking for success.
In the book, Gary identifies and addresses such important questions as, “How can I seek clarification without being judgmental? (p. 133) and “How can suspending my beliefs inspire my coworkers and resolve conflicts?” (p. 177).
I think that anyone who wants to be a better manager or leader can learn a lot from this informative book based on interviews with nearly 100 leaders, including Fortune 500 CEOs.
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