During a team meeting, there will be the usual questions such as where you are on an order or what’s going on with certain issues. But there are some questions that you can ask that can not only motivate employees but can also help to improve your bottom line. 

1. Because team members do sometimes bite their tongues when they think of something that needs to be said that the leader won’t like, you need to ask a question that will break through that reluctance. So ask this question point blank: "What is everyone afraid to say to me that needs to be said?" By asking this question, you may uncover something that’s holding the team back or resolve a problem that could lead to future problems. 

2. Ask, "If we don’t reach the goals set before us on this project, what do you think might be the reason for the failure?" What this question can do is open up a dialogue about potential problems, and it can create a brainstorming session for success. 

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3. The third question to ask is, "What is the competition doing right that we’re not?" This question makes the team members feel that their opinions are valid, and they may even know something that you don't.

4. Next ask, "What are the top issues that are keeping us from reaching the success we want?" Sometimes, it can be a lack of courage among team members because the fear of failure holds people back and keeps them in a safe zone. 

5. Ask them, "If you knew we couldn’t fail, what’s something you’d do differently today?" Your team members could have valuable information to contribute which is new to you, especially about problems at a detailed level.

6. Finally, ask everyone, "What can I do to help make sure that you are able to do your job to the best of your abilities?"

By asking these questions, you can often spark new ideas as well as help team members to see what could be lacking with a task or with how they’re handling a project assignment. 

In our last article, we'll give suggestions for questions to ask when interviewing someone for a job. The right questions can help you make sure you hire the right candidate rather than make an expensive mistake.