Kevin Hall

8 Reasons Questions Are Helpful When Offering Unsolicited Input

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Recently, I was assisting a missions organization with team development. During conversations about healthy conflict, feedback, and buy-in, a team member asked for advice on how to give constructive feedback in a non-threatening way—especially when no one has asked for your input. With the right heart and proper attitude already in place, one of the best ways to contribute in that scenario is to ask good questions.

Asking good questions rather than surprisingly confronting someone will:

1. Invite information. Using good questions allows you to gather more data. You show that you are aware that you may not have all the information and you are open to hearing about the pieces you are missing.

2. Guide others. Asking good questions helps others learn as well. It forces them to think through the issues in a deep way in order to articulate an answer.

3. Demonstrate humility. Starting with questions shows you have good intentions. It demonstrates that you realize you don’t have the monopoly on right decision-making and truth.

4. Show respect. Just as asking questions demonstrates humility, it also helps show you respect the other person. You show others that you need their input and value their opinion.

5. Promote unity. Questions help create common ground. With honest give-and-take, questions can help guide each other towards the same goal.

6. Nurture interdependence. Questions show you want to work collaboratively and interdependently. They assume no one person has the only understanding of the situation.

7. Build safety. Asking good questions and encouraging others to do the same allow us to take risks in order to gain greater understanding. On the other hand, confronting without first asking may lead to defensiveness and a halted conversation.

8. Provide opportunity. Good questions can invite the other person to ask for your opinion. Questions, then, can open the opportunity for you to give your viewpoint and advice in a non-threatening way.

Maybe you see a need to give a constructive challenge to someone. Ask honest questions first, and others might hear you better.

  • Kevin Hall
  • Leadership
Kevin Hall

Kevin S. Hall is a graduate of Cedarville University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Adv. MDiv). He is currently pursuing a PhD at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Kevin is a former police officer and has served in Mexico as a missionary. He is married to Bethany, and they have three children.

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