It’s interesting to look at David Rock’s inspirations for using questions to be an effective manager. One of them, solution-focused brief therapy, categorizes questions into various categories, including “exception-seeking questions,” which ask someone to think about ways they’ve overcome similar or smaller-scale problems in the past as a way both to suggest solutions and to lend confidence that the problem can be overcome.
That’s interesting, and useful. You can definitely see how it affects the types of questions Rock advocates that managers ask their staff: “What is one thing you have done that has made a customer delighted in the past? What did you do differently that made the customer so happy? What would it take for you to do this more often?”
Not a substitute for doing your homework and talking to enough people to ask critical, informed questions, but a nice complement.