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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to ask the right questions

You have now learned and practiced not answering all of the problems for your staff, but you may often find that when you ask your staff questions about how to solve a problem the answer you get is, “I don’t know. Or what do you think we should do?” How you ask the question matters as much as what you are asking.

How do you ask the questions to get people thinking? Different types of questions have different components. Some questions, asked are not actually questions. Some questions are asked and you already have the answer.  And other questions focus not on the answer but the problem. In order to ask the right questions to get your employees thinking it takes practice.

Focus first on the problem? Ask questions that give individuals an opportunity to really look at what the problem is. It might not be black and white.  It also may take some time to get to the real problem.  Identify who, what, where and when. Does this problem occur across multiple settings or with only a few patients?

Next, analyze the possible solutions. Do you need more than one solution because there are multiple problems? Or is one solution going to satisfy all contingencies. Do multiple individuals need to be a part of the solution because it impacts others?

Now, focus on implementation of the solution. Will it be easy to fix? Or will it take time to put into place? Who has to carry out the problem?
The more you can get your staff involved in the question asking phase the better they will become at asking the same types of questions when you are not around. And the more they will be able to begin this process for themselves. 

Great teams take effort. Take time to work on your practice regularly to build quality communication and strengthen your results. For more information and to read other articles, please visit us at www.saltdpm.com.

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