Ask Better Questions

👋 Hello Software Engineers, Team Leaders, and Problem Solvers!
Ever found yourself jumping to solutions before fully understanding a problem? We all have. That’s why today, I want to share another gem from my book, “I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge,” co-authored with Michael Doyle.

🎯 Introducing: Ask Better Questions

🤔 What Is It?
This practice encourages you to ask questions rather than stating your opinions. It’s based on the GROW model by Graham Alexander and focuses on Goal setting, Reality, Options, and Way forward.

🌟 Why Use It?
We often rush to solve problems, but the real magic happens when we help others find their own solutions. Asking better questions can lead to deeper understanding and more effective problem-solving.

👣 How It Works
1️⃣ Goal Setting: Ask questions like “What does success look like?” or “How will you measure it?”
2️⃣ Reality: Use descriptor questions to assess the situation: “Tell me more about…” or “How do you know this is happening?”
3️⃣ Options and Obstacles: Explore possible actions and challenges: “What could you do to change the situation?” or “What are the external factors preventing you?”
4️⃣ Way Forward: Convert options into actions: “What will you do and when?” or “What support do you need?”

📝 Note: Stick to open questions—what, where, when, who, and how. Avoid “why” questions as they can make people defensive.

🔄 Why It Matters
Asking better questions not only helps in personal development but also fosters a culture of curiosity and collaboration within teams.

📚 Curious to learn more? This is just one of the 18 practices we cover in our book. Check it out at I am in Charge.

👇 What’s the best question you’ve ever asked or been asked? Share your thoughts!


  • Alexis Monville

    Alexis Monville worked in multicultural and distributed environments for years, coming back from the US and now based in the southwest of France. When asked if he misses the work in the office, he usually answers that he spent half of his 30 years of management experience in diverse sectors outside of the office and a lot of that working from home. Alexis is Chief of Staff to the CTO at Red Hat, a long-time hybrid open-source software company with more than 100 office locations in 40 countries, where half of the 20,000 people work remotely. Alexis is a firm believer that change starts with the self. He is the author of two books: Changing Your Team From The Inside and I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge. Alexis facilitates successful playful collaborations. He designs and builds sustainable and high-impact teams and organizations.

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