I watched John Maxwell’s video on “The Value Of Asking Questions” and learned some interesting things. According to Maxwell, a good business leader needs to ask lots of great questions. Asking questions allows you to learn from others, solve problems and meet influential people.

Every person has something they can teach you. If you spend time with someone without learning something, you may have missed an opportunity to expand and grow.

The best way to learn from other people is to ask the right questions. Do not ask shallow questions because you will get shallow responses. You want to ask profound questions that require well thought out and mature responses. Maxwell recommends that you have a few profound questions in your arsenal that generate responses you can benefit from. For example:

  1. What is the greatest lesson you have ever learned?
  2. Can you describe how failure has shaped your life?
  3. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in life?

Everyone has problems that need to be solved.

Before you set things right, you need to see things right.

Asking questions can change your perspective of the problem. Asking questions allows you to have a complete understanding of the problem. Therefore, you can develop a better solution.

Finally, asking the right questions can get you past the gatekeeper and allow you to meet influential people. Start by offering something of value with a question like “what can I do for you that you would find valuable?” Then follow up with a question like “who do you know that you think I should know?”

As you meet with people today, ask yourself this question: “What is it that they have to offer?”

Then ask the right questions to extract that from them. If you are going to ask life changing questions, be sure to do something with the answers.

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For information, go to southernarizona.score.org, send an email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.