Asking Questions versus Telling Answers

It was a simple question, but six months later the words still formed how the young leader processed life. On a walk with my son, he related that he was still processing a question I asked him six months earlier. Note to self: Questions impact more than telling.

Sometimes I want to be the knowledge expert, the “go-to” guy to solve and fix problems rather than a guide who leads others to discover answers for themselves. During recent meetings with our Western Europe leadership, I was reminded of the value of asking questions versus telling answers.  Paul Duncan modeled this by leading us through an exercise.  One group brainstormed on the disadvantages of telling while the second group wrote down the advantages of asking.  Here are our answers below:

asking vs telling

What would you add to the lists? What are the advantages of asking?  What are more disadvantages of telling?

If you are interested in this topic, my friend Bob Tiede has a blog called Leading with Questions.

Related posts you might enjoy:


About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with Cru with my wife, Terry. We have been married 30 years and have 4 grown children. We have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right side bar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit:
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One Response to Asking Questions versus Telling Answers

  1. Tom Bolton says:

    Reblogged this on Hopeful and commented:
    Great observations by Mr. Morgan. I keep reminding myself to ask more and tell less.

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