Practical Leadership: Asking the right people or the right question?

You are now working on important projects and receiving a lot of advice on how to effectively manage them. Should you be focusing on asking good questions or asking the right people?

We may have different perspectives on this question, but I would like to share my experience on this topic.


During the project initiation phase or even earlier, I have found that the benefits of asking the right people outweigh asking the right questions. Many times, I have discovered valuable information from “the right people” with simple questions.

Sometimes, I do not even have to ask any questions. They just share their aspirations and pain points. The real work is to think and analyze these inputs.


Having a project means delivering value through temporary and unique activities outside the Business as Usual (BAU). The “right people” will sharpen your understanding of the potential value that you can deliver through your project.

The common pitfall is to identify the right people based on how we will run the project instead of identifying them based on the values that need to be delivered to the organization. The best scenario in this situation is to revise your project scope before you start.


The worst-case scenario? The key people in the business will be shaking their heads when they attend your project delivery presentation.

So, when can we see “asking the right questions” as becoming more beneficial?


In my experience, asking the right questions becomes more crucial as the project progresses towards planning and execution stages. This is when we have clearly identified “who to ask.”

What motivated me to write on this topic and discuss it more with leaders? Because I am seeing a relentless focus on asking “sophisticated” questions in project meetings, completely ignoring the value of better listening to what the “right people” have to say.


Asking good questions is not the real work. The real work is to deliver value through your projects.

Listen more to the right people so you can deliver what matters.


Hendro Fujiono
Transformation, Top Team Performance & Innovation Expert

Hendro is a management consultant and executive coach with a proven track-record in business transformation, change management and innovation. He works with leaders across industries to orchestrate change, deliver coaching programs on practical business leadership skills, and facilitate strategic workshops.  If you would like to read more about Hendro and his workshops on Essemy click this link.