When you meet with customers or staff, one of the best things you can do is ask questions--good questions. Questions show genuine interest and respect for the ideas and opinions of others. If you listen carefully, people often reveal information that will improve your business systems and your bottom line.
Questions are also the best way to teach. In the words of a professional trainer, "To tell is to preach. To ask is to teach."
Chet Holmes, a well-known marketing and sales teacher uses questions very effectively. Check out his three-page article, Creating Great Businesses. Chet gives an example of how he helped one business implement nineteen important improvements, all stemming from a single question.
By the way, a great technique for using questions to uncover the root cause of business problems is applying the 5-Whys Analysis. You can learn how to apply this easy and effective method using the link below.