Why is this important?

When the aim is to develop a team member’s perspective, telling them what to do rarely helps them learn. Instead, engaging them in a process of thoughtful questioning helps them to find answers on their own and develops their critical thinking skills. It equips them to solve the problems they’ll face in the future.

How can you take action?

As you prepare for a conversation using “Teach, don’t tell”, write down where you are attempting to take the other person and the questions that will help to get there.

After the conversation, ask yourself:

  • What type of questions were most effective in helping to evolve the other person’s point of view?
  • What worked well that you will do again in your next conversation? What will you do differently?

What does it look like?

  • Know where you’re going
  • Define the scope
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Confirm Learning

Know where you’re going 

Random questions won’t help anyone get to the answer! Have an initial perspective on the answer and use this to guide your questions.

Define the scope

Help focus the conversation: The sa of questions should help the leamel narrow in on the problem or challenge at hand.

Ask open ended questions

Think about questions you can ask to help clarify any points or misunderstandings that require a “yes” or no” answer.

Confirm Learning

Before you finish the conversation, make sure you verify understanding and confirm next steps.



  • If the person doesn’t understand the basics of the situation at hand, questions won’t help. Ask this individual to do some research and / a point of view that demonstrates they understand the basics before continuing the discussion. 
  • Be open to another perspective or approach that is different from could also be valid.