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Working from Strengths

Volume 1.5 // Strategic Questions and their Hidden Power

Strategic Questions – How to Unlock Your Leadership Potential

Questions are one of the most powerful tools we have for unlocking our potential as leaders. Asking strategic questions can help us shift our perspectives, broaden our horizons and even spark breakthrough ideas that could revolutionize our organizations. Find out how to utilize the power of asking the right questions in this article!



In order to unlock your leadership potential, it is essential that you ask yourself the right questions. By posing strategic questions to yourself, you can gain a greater understanding of your own motivations, ambitions, and capabilities. Additionally, asking strategic questions can help you identify opportunities and challenges that you may not have considered before.


To get started, try asking yourself the following questions:


  1. What are my long-term goals?
  2. What motivates me?
  3. What am I passionate about?
  4. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  5. How can I use my strengths to overcome my weaknesses?
  6. What obstacles stand in my way?
  7. How can I turn challenges into opportunities?
  8. Who can I learn from?
  9. What resources are available to me?


What is Strategic Questioning?


In order to be an effective leader, it is important to be able to ask questions that will help you gain a deeper understanding of your team, your company, and the industry you are in. Strategic questioning is a powerful tool that can help you do just that.


Strategic questioning is all about asking the right questions at the right time in order to get the information you need to make informed decisions. It is not about asking random questions or fishing for compliments; rather, it is a thoughtful process that can help you uncover hidden challenges and opportunities.


There are four main types of strategic questions: 


  1. Reality-based questions: These are designed to help you understand the current situation and what is really going on. 
  2. Solution-focused questions: These are aimed at helping you identify potential solutions to problems or challenges. 
  3. Implementation-focused questions: These are designed to help you understand how to best implement any solutions that are identified. 
  4. Value-added questions: These are intended to help you identify any areas where additional value can be added.


Asking strategic questions can be difficult, especially if you are not used to thinking in this way. However, with practice, it can become second nature and an invaluable tool in your leadership arsenal


How Can Strategic Questions Improve Leadership Performance?


Strategic questions can help leaders tap into their potential and improve performance by forcing them to think critically about the future. Leaders who ask strategic questions are better able to identify opportunities and threats, make sound decisions, and set direction for their organizations. Asking strategic questions also allows leaders to gain insights from others, build relationships, and develop a shared understanding of the organization’s goals.


By asking strategic questions, leaders can improve their own performance and that of their organizations. When faced with a challenging situation, leaders should ask themselves what they want to achieve, what resources are available, and what risks are involved. This type of thinking encourages leaders to consider all options and make the best decision for their organizations. Asking strategic questions also helps leaders stay focused on the organization’s goals, which can prevent them from getting sidetracked by day-to-day issues.


In addition to improving decision-making, asking strategic questions can also help leaders build relationships with others. When leaders take the time to listen to others and understand their perspectives, they create an environment of trust and respect. This openness allows for more creativity and collaboration among team members, which can lead to better results. Furthermore, by regularly asking strategic questions, leaders signal to others that they value input and are willing to consider new ideas.


Benefits of Strategic Questions


Strategic questions are powerful tools that can help leaders unlock their potential. By asking strategic questions, leaders can gain insights into their own thinking and the thinking of others. Asking strategic questions can also help leaders to identify opportunities and challenges, and to develop creative solutions to problems.


Some benefits of asking strategic questions include:


  • Gaining insights into your own thinking and the thinking of others’
  • Identifying opportunities and challenges
  • Developing creative solutions to problems
  • Building relationships and trust
  • Improving communication


Types of Strategic Questions


There are many different types of strategic questions that leaders can ask themselves in order to unlock their potential. Here are some examples:


  1. What are our core values and how do they guide our decisions?


  1. What is our mission and vision, and how can we align our actions with them?


  1. What are the most pressing issues facing our organization or team, and how can we address them?


  1. Who are our key stakeholders, and how can we best serve their interests?


  1. What skills or knowledge do we need to develop in order to achieve our goals?


  1. How can we create a more collaborative and innovative culture within our organization?


  1. What processes or systems need to be in place in order for us to be successful?


  1. How can we better assess and manage risk within our organization?


The Process of Asking Questions Strategically


Asking questions is not just a way to gather information. It is also a way to show that you are engaged and interested in what others have to say. When you ask questions strategically, you can gain insights into the thoughts and motivations of those around you. This can help you better understand the situation and make better decisions.


Here are some tips for asking questions strategically:


  1. Be clear about your goal. What do you want to learn or accomplish by asking questions? Having a clear goal will help you choose the right questions to ask.


  1. Make sure your questions are open-ended. Open-ended questions encourage people to share their thoughts and feelings. They also prevent you from leading people to the answer you want them to give.


  1. Avoid yes/no questions. Yes/no questions can be helpful if you’re trying to confirm something, but they don’t encourage people to share their thoughts and feelings.


  1. Ask follow-up questions. Follow-up questions show that you’re listening and that you’re interested in what the other person has to say. They also give you an opportunity to learn more about the person’s thoughts and feelings on the topic.


Emotional Intelligence in Strategic Questioning


Strategic questioning is a powerful tool that can help you unlock your leadership potential. By asking the right questions, you can gain insights into your own emotions and those of others. This can help you make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and achieve greater success in your career.


Here are four tips for using emotional intelligence in strategic questioning:


  1. Be aware of your own emotions.


Before you can effectively question others, it’s important to be aware of your own emotions. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and what might be driving those feelings. This self-awareness will help you stay calm and focused when questioning others.


  1. Read other people’s emotions.


Try to read other people’s emotions, both verbal and nonverbal cues. This will give you insights into their inner thoughts and feelings. It’s also important to be open to the possibility that people may not be telling the whole truth.


  1. Use questions to probe deeper.


Once you’ve identified someone’s emotional state, use questions to probe deeper. What might be causing them to feel this way? What impacts could this have on their decision-making? Asking these types of questions can help you better understand the situation and find solutions that work for everyone involved.


  1. Avoid making assumptions.


The Art of Listening as a Leader: Solving Problems with Questions


It’s no secret that being a good listener is essential to being a successful leader. After all, how can you solve problems or make decisions if you’re not paying attention to what people are saying? But simply listening isn’t enough – you also need to know how to listen strategically.


Here’s where questions come in. Asking the right questions can help you uncover the root cause of a problem, understand what people really want or need, and identify potential solutions. And when you do it in a way that shows you’re truly engaged and interested in what others have to say, it can build trust and rapport, making people more likely to open up to you in future.


So how can you become a master of strategic questioning? Here are some tips:


Be clear on your goals. What do you want to achieve by asking questions? Make sure your questions are focused and relevant to the issue at hand.


Listen more than you talk. This one is key! Show that you’re really listening by making eye contact, nodding your head, and giving verbal cues such as “uh-huh” or “I see.” Resist the urge to jump in with your own ideas too soon – let people finish talking first.


Ask follow-up questions. Once someone has given you their initial response, dig deeper with follow-up questions. For example, if they mention a difficulty they’re having at work, you could ask them how long they’ve been




While there are many questions that can help unlock your leadership potential, strategic questions have the added benefit of making you think critically and more deeply than a typical question. Asking yourself these kinds of questions can give you greater insight into who you are as a leader and how to better lead with authority and integrity. While it may take practice to master the art of asking effective strategic questions, every effort will be worth it when you finally see the results in your personal and professional development!