Effective small group* (family, work or sports team, fellowships, ministry team) leaders ask thoughtful, focused, powerful questions. A large part of professional Coach training is centered on the art of asking relevant, motivating, powerful questions. If you are a small group leader, a family member, or ministry leader, what has been your experience with asking questions? Who do you know that is gifted in the art of asking powerful questions? There is a saying in Coach training, that real change does not occur until the client expresses it. Until the client “owns” the solution, lasting change will not occur. Good teachers know this. As a leader, you can teach a vital point until the cows come home, but until the student or team member internalizes it, it is simply a truth floating out there in space waiting to be grasped or forgotten. Think of the greatest teacher of all time, our lord and savior Jesus Christ. What types of questions did Jesus ask and what was the result? Take some time and count the great number and variety of questions Jesus asked. “Who do you say that I am?” “Do you want to become well?” “Do you believe this?” “Why are you asking…?” “…how shall you escape…?” “What will it profit a man…?” Try to avoid the simple yes or no questions, but instead ask the Who? What? When? How? and Why? questions. No matter the size of your group (perhaps it’s just one other person in your family unit), questions show you care, and in the process you’re encouraging the other person to think upon things that really matter. Pause, and wait patiently for a reply to your question. Thoughtful reflection takes time and is an important part of the process. Affirm the other person’s answer, perhaps by rephrasing their answer back to them and asking for confirmation to ensure you understand their response. Perhaps dig a little deeper with another related question. Powerful questions can be life changing. If powerful questions aren’t a tool in your leadership tool box, why not?