The best leaders are those who ask good questions. They don’t think they need to have all the answers just because they work in a leadership role. The most effective leaders also know that the higher up the ladder they climb, the more complex the work — and the challenges.

Speaker and best-selling author David Burkus says it’s okay for leaders to not know all the answers themselves. But to lead well, they should always be seeking out answers to some specific questions. We cover the questions that Burkus recommends asking in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

1. What are our real priorities? Unless you can sort out the most important tasks, your team’s attention will always be divided. You may get pulled into new projects that aren’t necessarily critical, which means diverting focus away from what really needs your attention. Burkus says leaders should ask — and continue to ask — what the real priorities are and then make the answer clear to their team.

2. Where are our potential roadblocks? This question can help you uncover what could derail your team. To become a roadblock remover, leaders should look for barriers that are keeping their people from doing their best work, and then eliminating those barriers. Roadblocks can pop up at any time, so Burkus recommends asking continually.

3. What am I not hearing? Your team members may not be telling you the full story. They may be worried you’ll take out your frustration on them, so they simply avoid sharing certain details. To reverse this trend, Burkus advises regularly asking what you may not be hearing or by extension who you’re not hearing from.

4. Who isn’t being challenged? People tend to be most motivated and engaged in a task when the demands of the job match their skills and capacity, Burkus says. You don’t want employees bored — or overly stressed, which can lead to burnout. Keep in mind that employees may have started their job with the right mix of abilities for their job’s demands, but they have likely grown their skills. This means they might be ready for a new challenge.

5. How is our motivation? This is an especially important question for those on the frontlines and in the middle of an organization, Burkus says. When the daily grind gets demanding, it can be hard for people to remember the difference they’re making. It’s up to leaders to make the connection and constantly remind staffers why their work matters.

If you lead a team or aspire to move into a leadership role, remember to ask smart questions. Not only can the answers give you helpful feedback, but you can get insight into what your staffers need to perform at their highest levels.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: David Burkus is one of the world’s leading business thinkers. He is a sought-after international speaker and the best-selling author of four books about business and leadership.