I write frequently about the power of listening and asking good questions, especially among ministry leaders. Let’s take a look at one of the more challenging contexts for practicing this skill: the board meeting.
Often board meetings consist of each person spouting their opinions, not listening to the responses, and waiting for their turn for rebuttal. Instead, what if people started asking great questions? And then listening to the responses?
If you ask lousy questions, you come up with simplistic, shortsighted answers that come with unforeseen implications. Great questions, on the other hand, prompt deeper thought, get to the roots of the issue, invite multiple perspectives, uncover motivations, and open up ways to address problems. The power of a decision is in direct proportion to the quality of questions that are asked as it is being made.
Bonus: good all-purpose questions for board meetings
- What are the blockages people face when it comes to [desirable course of action]?
- What are we trying to accomplish? How will we know if we did?
- What are the biblical values behind this decision?
- What are the benefits and costs of this possible action?
- What do people have to lose? What do they have to gain?
- What principles do we need to consider as we approach this decision?
- What are the criteria we want to use to evaluate a possible course of action?