If you enjoyed Questions for Success, here are some more engaging questions useful for a variety of purposes. They are all open questions, designed to stimulate others to open up.
Questions to Stimulate Thinking
What are your aims, goals or vision for your area/function/business?
Who do you see as your main internal customers?
What are your customers trying to achieve and how do your objectives serve their needs?
How are you going about achieving your goals?
What are the main challenges that you are currently facing?
What obstacles do you see blocking your path?
What options are there for dealing with these obstacles?
What untapped opportunities can you see that you would like to exploit?
Who are your customers/strategic partners?
How does your success add value to their efforts?
How do you measure your success?
What are your main deliverables?
What are the key factors in your operation that contribute to the bottom line?
Following the 80-20 rule, what are the 20% of activities that contribute 80% of your output?
If you could improve any aspect of your operation by waving a magic wand, what would it be?
What options do you see for achieving that improvement?
What are the pros and cons of option A, B, C...?
What obstacles are there in the way of taking this action?
What steps might be taken to tackle those obstacles?
Active Listening: Follow-on Questions and Encouraging Statements
That's interesting, please tell me more about that.
I like the sound of that, what are the risks, costs or downsides?
What happened next? And then what did you do?
I see (then wait for the other person to continue).
You seem to have put a lot of thought into this (wait for reply).
How did you arrive at that strategy or approach?
What prompted you to pursue that path?
What are the next steps?
Who else needs to be involved?
You have clearly highlighted the negatives. What are the benefits or opportunities?
Solution Generating and Influencing Questions
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change?
What would be your ideal solution?
How would your ideal solution meet your needs?
What have you tried to do thus far?
What seems to be working and what isn't?
What other options can you envisage?
Have you thought about trying X?
What do you see as the potential benefits of X?
How would doing X help you achieve your goals?
What would you see as the risks, costs or downsides of X?
How might you avoid these negative outcomes?
Who else is doing X? What can you learn from their experience?
How would X add value for your customers?
How would this enhance your value in their eyes?
What are the next steps?
What support could you use in implementing this idea?
How might I support you in taking these steps?
Career Development Questions
What do you see as the next stage of your career?
Longer term, do you see yourself as an individual contributor/professional or manager?
In relation to where you want to go, what do you see as your 2 or 3 key strengths for such a role?
What 2 or 3 skills do you think you need to develop for that role?
If you don't know, how can you find out? (talk to current incumbents)
What kind of developmental actions would address your needs effectively?
What developmental courses of action most appeal to you?
What aspects of your job (or past jobs) have you enjoyed most?
What aspects do you not enjoy so much?
What would you like to do more of or less of?
What support do you need for your development?
What can you start doing differently immediately?
How could you raise your profile?
How could you find some really developmental challenges?