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Vlerick HRday 2013: The power of questions. - Prof. Katia Tieleman

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Vlerick HRday 2013: The power of questions. - Prof. Katia Tieleman

Vlerick HRday 2013: The power of questions. - Prof. Katia Tieleman

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  • 1. VLERICK HR DAY!HR PRACTITIONERS MEET HR ACADEMY12 JUNE 2013Welcome in the trackThe power of questions!
  • 2. Vlerick HR DAYThe power of questionsProf Dr Katia Tieleman
  • 3. 3 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolYour neighbour as a potential customerImagine that your neighbour is one of yourpotential customersYou get 10 min. to try and convince thiscustomer to work with you3
  • 4. 4 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolDiscussionHow much of the time did you talk?How many questions did you ask?4
  • 5. 5 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolThis afternoon’s menuWhat is the first thing you should do as ahostage negotiator seeking contact with ahostage taker? And what does this mean foryour day-to-day life?How to lead effectively?How to stimulate innovation and create value?5
  • 6. “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.You can tell whether he is wise by his questions”Naguib Mahfouz (Nobel prize winner)
  • 7. 7 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolCreating impactHow do you create the strongest impact? How do you buildrelationships? How do you engage a potential customer? Howdo you make the best possible impression?We tend to think that:...magic happens by being ad rem, being brilliant, saying the rightthing at the right moment....asking questions gives a somewhat stupid and uninformedimpression....progress is made by answering questions.But history proves us wrong.7
  • 8. 8 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School
  • 9. 9 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School
  • 10. 10 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolDrucker was famous for his intense„questioning sessions“ with customers(no consultant but „insultant“)
  • 11. 11 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School„I can always tell how experienced andinsightful a prospective consultant, banker orlawyer is by the quality of their questions andhow intently they listen. That is how simple itis.“CEO van 12 billion dollar company11
  • 12. 12 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolSocrates: de father of ‘the art of questioning’ asa way of life.Allegory of the caveDialectic (Elenchus)Looking for real answersto key moral questions.Questioning assumptionsand the principle offalsificationThe highest form ofhuman excellence isquestioning oneself andothers
  • 13. 13 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolThe role of SocratesClassicCommunicating your ownpositionExpert roleControlling knowledgeAssuming meaningShowing how smart youareAnalysesSocratesQuestioningExpertise of participantsInclude experience ofothers in conversationSeek meaningShowing them how smartthey areSyntheses
  • 14. 14 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolPutting your brain to workStatements put the logical and analytical capacitiesof our brain to work, leading us to fast conclusionsQuestions trigger the creative and imaginativecapacities of our brain, in an exploratory mode.Questions activate our brain automatically to thinkfor itself instead of purely reproducing14 © Vlerick Business School
  • 15. 15 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School„Sometimes we don‘t get the right answers, simply becausewe haven‘t asked the right questions“Questions are one of the most powerfulcommunication tools: they can lead to hope,connections and new insights or to despair andassumptions.We loose our curiosity: a child asks an averageof 200 questions a day.The key to opening up the power of questions isto choose your questions carefully.
  • 16. 16 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolImagine...Someone you know can’t find a new job afterbeing let go for economical reasons.He has been to a number of interviews, butdoesn’t seem to get a job offer...He asks himself „What’s wrong with me?Why won’t anyone hire me?“.The one million dollar question: „Why doAfro-American students score lower onmathematical tests?“How do we make the Ford Gent plant moreproductive?Good examples of bad questions.
  • 17. 17 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolChoosing questions deliberatelyThe moment you formulate a question, your brainautomatically starts working to provide you with theanswer.The moment you ask yourself what’s wrong with you,your brain will provide you with answers: you’re too old,too young, too inexperienced, overqualified,...Existing assumptions are confirmed.You could also ask: ‘How do I make my job interviewsmore memorable?’ Or ‘How do I focus on the best jobopportunities?’
  • 18. 18 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School3 types of questionsQuestions because the process is importantQuestions because the answer is importantQuestions because the question is important18
  • 19. 19 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School3 mindsetsWe invest way too much in trying to adapt theother’s behaviour instead of their mindset.Mindset 1:Connectingthrough questionsMindset 2:Leading throughquestionsMindset 3:Discoveringthrough questions
  • 20. © Vlerick Business SchoolHOSTAGE NEGOTIATIONSProf Dr Katia Tieleman20
  • 21. 21 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolMindset I: Connecting through questions !What’s the exempli gratia of establishing thisconnection, even in the toughest situations, with asuccess rate of 95%?In hostage situations.Book George Kohlrieser: „Hostage at the table“.Psychologist en hostage negotiator.First step: confidence, building alliance andconnection.Basis of all other steps.
  • 22. 22 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolHow to get 95 %„Secure base“ or safe HOME BASE – this is what hostagesmiss most (they are caught in a spiral of anxiety, rejection,pain and misunderstanding).That safe home base is what you try to offer. You are relaxed,not threatening, not condemning, you try to understand, youtry to build a relationship of trust.In most hostage situations, arguments don’t work.Your most important weapon is ASKING QUESTIONS – theright questions. By asking questions, you show sincereinterest, you make a connection – you offer a safe homebase.22
  • 23. 23 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School„De-hostage“ the people in your environmentThat safe base is also what is missing in manydifficult and sensitive negotiations in our dailylives.So is asking questionsAsking questions is transformative (me andthem become we).
  • 24. 24 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School„De-hostage” yourselfMoreover, it is liberating: often we ourselves are hostagesof our own assumptions and fears.By asking questions about the intentions and backgroundof others, but also of ourselves, we can uncover those.According to Kohlrieser we automatically focus more onnegative aspects, on the avoidance of fears and pain.It is the leader’s role to change this “mind’s eye” by offeringchoices, perspectives and reflection moments.24
  • 25. 25 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolPower Questions (Sobel and Panas)„Can we start over“?If you forget to ask questions or ask the wrong oneDon’t jump into the deep endIn case of a bad startIn case of emotionalescalation
  • 26. 26 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolHow would you want to be treated if the situationwould be reversed?Help to look beyond emotions and judgements.Imagine you have your own company, and oneof your employees – a good friend – steels fromyou. What would you do?
  • 27. 27 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolDon‘t fix the blame, fix the problemWhat should they/we should differently?Why doesn’t this happen?
  • 28. © Vlerick Business School Prof Dr Katia Tieleman28
  • 29. 29 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolMindset II: questions to steer!Steering questions contain (part of) the answeror steer the interviewee into a desired direction.Aim is to control the situation.Transformation: you let the other say what youwant to attain/give (the other reaches yourconclusion).Were you in the Vermont Hotel on the night ofFebruary 15th 2012?
  • 30. 30 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolTypical „pitfalls“Supposition questionsHow big will the price increase be?Do you have problems with your boss?Link statement questionsA lot of people are against the Greek support. What do you think?Implication questionsIf you go to that party tonight, how will this affect the results of your examtomorrow?Acceptance questionsDo you agree that we should rescue the whales?Compulsory questionsYou do believe this is important, don’t you?
  • 31. 31 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolSplit-second persuasion: flipnosis (KevinDutton)Biological factor.The playing field is determined even before yousay something: „The more you can say withouthaving to say it, the bigger your advantage“.Principles: simple, close to the other, surprising(do you know how monkeys negotiate?).Emotions come first, followed by beliefs,followed by reasoning.
  • 32. 32 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolSubtle leadershipWe often steer people into a certain direction with our questions(either intentionally or unintentionally)This effect is strengthened by the fact that the way you ask yourquestion also influences the answer to that question.Examples: how tall/small is that basketball player; do you oftenhave headaches and how often vs do you sometimes haveheadaches and how often (2.2 times often headaches versus 0.7times sometimes headaches).Post hoc questions can influence our memories.Stress and tensions strengthen our suggestibility.Children are very vulnerable to „leading questions“.Ethical line: keep walking in the planned direction. Learning goalorientation or alienation of authentic goals?32
  • 33. © Vlerick Business SchoolFALL INTO MANIPULATIONProf Dr Katia Tieleman33
  • 34. 34 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolPower questions (Sobel and Panas):No gorilla dustIs it yes or no?Check the commitmentNo time to think things over, no considerations, no“maybe” or “if”Example: Reclaiming the American dream (R.Cornuelle)
  • 35. 35 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolIs this the best you can do?Kissinger: the best reportSteve Jobs: starting the first MacAsk yourselfAsk employees who don’t perform at their bestAsk questions when you’re working on important projectsContinuation questions: What keeps you from doing an evenbetter job?Is it worthwhile to invest more of yourself into the project?
  • 36. 36 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolWhat do we have to decide?What have we decided?What do we need to discuss today?People are afraid of decisions, having to be tothe pointProcrastinationLeads to frustrationEssential before and after meetings
  • 37. © Vlerick Business School Prof Dr Katia Tieleman37
  • 38. 38 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolMindset III: questions to discoverIt’s not about steering, but about letting go,understanding and discovering.Transformation: from positions to interests, fromsubjective truths to the absolute truth, from naiverealism to pieces of the puzzle.Partnership implication – equivalence.Important in negotiations, conflict management,brainstorming, problem solving, deadlocks,innovation.
  • 39. 39 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolThoreau in his journal:„The greatest complimentwas paid to me today.Somebody asked me whatI thought and actuallylistened to my answer.“
  • 40. 40 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolPower Questions (Sobel and Panas)The 3 words: “what do you think”?Can you tell me something more?What are your plans?InformationCommitmentOwnershipExample: Gladstone and Disraeli, 2 former British PrimeMinisters (19th Century) dine with the same eloquent lady.Her comment:„After my dinner with Mr Gladstone, I thought he was thecleverest man in all of England. After my dinner with MrDisraeli, I felt as though I was the cleverest woman in all ofEngland!“
  • 41. 41 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolWhy-questions: you can counter everything as long asyou know why things went wrongWhy is that important to you?Why do you want that (or do not want that)?Why do we do this?Why do we do things this way?Organisations know what they do and how they do it:the attractive story is in the why.This is no different for peopleEssential: when you want to get to know people,organisations and their motives.If you need to overcome resistance.No “what” questions, but “why” questions.
  • 42. 42 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolSales conversationsWhat would you like to know about us? (instead ofanswering the wrong question, giving boring/sleep-inducing answers, loosing a sales opportunity)Are they willing to buy? What do you need? Is therea problem or an opportunity? Do you know theseproblems/opportunities?42
  • 43. 43 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolThe foundation of innovationWhat is the/your question?The better the question, the better the answer will beFormulate every problem/every challenge as aquestionHelps to ask the right questionWhat are the possibilities?
  • 44. 44 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business School3 important questionsWhat surprised you?What didn’t I ask?What is the question?44
  • 45. 45 Prof Dr Katia Tieleman© Vlerick Business SchoolQuestions open the door for endless explorationand for opportunities, to strengthen relationshipsand to influence othersThe ultimate transformation: Ask yourself questionsabout yourselfCHANGE YOUR QUESTION,CHANGE YOUR LIFE
  • 46. Enjoy your coffee break.A delicious birthday cookie with your coffee is offered by Quintessence.

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