Practice using open questions to be curious, not compelling. Watch David explain how to become a Question Master.


Here’s an activity that will have you practice being curious before being compelling. Have someone write down every question you ask in a meeting = verbatim. What I’m looking for is it needs to be specific enough so that you can then look at patterns in your questions. Are you saying things like, “Will it work?” That’s a binary question. Or “Does that make sense?” which is a self-affirming binary question. Or “Do you have the courage to walk away from this relationship?” which injects your biases into the question. Courage – as you’re assuming – you’re setting it up that courage is the scarce resource, walking away is what you need to do. And it’s walking, not running, that walking is the right metaphor for how you’re going to get out of this relationship.  

So then look at the patterns of your questions. You should only need to do this for a week or so. And then you’ll see these patterns. And we would recommend trying to eliminate binary, binary self-affirming, and questions which inject your own bias into the question. Try and keep the questions as clean and open and neutral as possible. We call it “Be curious before being compelling.” We call this activity The Question Master and so you will become a master of asking questions, not just queries. 

I’m David Marquet. That’s your Leadership Nudge. 

Sandy Wilmer

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Intent-Based Leadership International, LLC • 1435 E. Venice Ave #104-173 • Venice, FL 34292 • +1.941.408.0311

Intent-Based Leadership International, LLC • 1435 E. Venice Ave #104-173 • Venice, FL 34292 • +1.941.408.0311

Intent-Based Leadership International, LLC • 1435 E. Venice Ave #104-173 • Venice, FL 34292 • +1.941.408.0311