5 Questions That Will Shock Your Team

5 Questions That Will Shock Your Team

What types of questions have you asked your team recently?

When will you have that ready?

Did you have enough volunteers?

Why didn’t we get that video announcement finished on-time?

Asking about progress and status of assignments are part of the normal rhythm when you’re leading a team. However, there are several questions that can cultivate a deeper relationship with team members. Questions can provide you with much more than just information.

Great questions can inspire (both you and the person you’re asking).

Great questions can challenge someone to become stronger than they thought possible.

Great questions can cause people to pause and really think about a situation.

Ken Coleman, host of the Entreleadership podcast and author of “One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices”, wrote, “Questions are keys that unlock life’s most important answers.”

If questions are so powerful, why don’t we ask more of them? Why don’t we ask deeper, more thought-provoking questions?

Reason #1: We’re afraid of the answer

Asking questions may result in answers that challenge our current way of thinking. Also, there’s the potential that you’ll hear something you didn’t want to hear.

Reason #2: Asking great questions requires time and energy

The best interviewers spend hours researching interviewees; reading their books, watching speeches and other interviews. They don’t walk into the room cold; they are prepared with questions to glean the most from their subject. It requires intentional effort to develop great questions.

When you’re ready to dive-in, here are 5 questions that may shock your team members:

Question #1: What can I do to help?

They’re used to you asking them for help (or giving them marching orders). What if you asked how you can serve them? Full disclosure: I first heard this one from Pastor Andy Stanley.

Question #2: If you could do any job, even somewhere else, what would it be and why?

You might get a deer-in-the-headlights stare when you ask this one. After all, who wants to risk telling their boss that they’re not 100% thrilled with their current role? However, this is a great way to find out what your team members really aspire to achieve. Once you get the conversation going, start dreaming with them about how you can help them get to that dream job.

Question #3: How can I improve as a leader?

Yeah, this one could hurt. I’ve got an ego too and it’s not fun when someone points out my faults (even when I’m fully aware of them!).

This question accomplishes two things:

  1. The answer may provide you with valuable insights you can use to take your leadership up a few notches.
  2. It communicates to your team that you care enough about them and the church to be vulnerable about your weaknesses.

Question #4: What’s an issue that needs attention but I haven’t noticed? How would you address it?

Since you’re not on the front lines, you won’t see every issue that pops up. Was childcare check-in really slow last Sunday? Are your volunteers frustrated by a lack of communication? You probably don’t have the chance to hear about those types of issues when you’re getting ready to preach a sermon or oversee another area. Find out what’s really going on with this question and solicit solutions from team members.

Bonus tip: Empower them to fix it without asking for your approval every time.

Question #5: How does your family feel about church? Do they feel part of it or jealous of it?

We’ve all heard stories about PKs who resent the church and walk away from God once they leave the nest. Find out if your team members are having family challenges and work together to come up with solutions. That may require hiring someone new to take on the extra workload, getting volunteers more involved, or redistributing tasks if other team members aren’t overloaded.

Asking these questions may cause your team members to wonder what’s gotten into you. Once they get over their initial shock, the resulting discussions will foster deeper relationships and a stronger ministry team.

What questions would you add to this list?