Effective leadership involves engaging with people. Great leaders connect with those that follow them and open questions play an important and pivotal role in that connection. So much so, I would venture to suggest that without the skilled use of the open question, you will be less effective as a leader.
I have deconstructed the process and created a mnemonic to help you remember the important elements of the open question. The mnemonics is OPEN and it stands for:
Observe – What is going on with you and with others?
Purpose – Your intent and what impact you want to have?
Empower – Understanding and removing the road blocks for people to be successful
Nuture – Developing leadership capability in others
The main premise you must understand is how you, as a leader, affect the other person. How do you inspire and motivate rather than just tell. Every time you interact with the people you lead, you affect them in some way. Open questions give you the power to leave them inspired and motivated.
People learn to be leaders. The way to learn to be a extraordinary leader is to practice the leadership skills every day, look for feedback on your performance of the skills and adjust your performance to improve. The more you practice and learn from each practice, the faster you will improve.Do this until is becomes habitual.