Ask the right question. Right questions are open-ended and encouraging. They help others imagine new solutions.
Pause after you ask the question. Accept silence, even if it’s uncomfortable. The pause gives your team time to think. Don’t bail your team out with another question (unless your first was poorly worded) and don’t provide your answer.
Pick a team member to provide the first answer. Always start with either the most introverted or the lowest ranking to draw them out, then let the usual suspects respond.
Listen closely to what is said. Does the body language confirm the comment, indicate indecision, or suggest falsehood? What wasn’t said, and why?
Expound on what you hear and test it out with additional questions. Show understanding and enthusiasm for your team’s ideas and a willingness to bestow credit and explore further. The more you demonstrate this support and interest, the more your team will reward you with greater alignment, engagement, and accountability.
Bring an APPLE to the next meeting to remind you that asking questions with APPLE works!