Cut right to the substance when you debrief with employees about a meeting. Ask, “What’s the biggest takeaway for you?” as opposed to, “What did you think?”
Similarly, when employees return from a conference or training session, ask, “What did you learn?” rather than, “Was it a good use of your time?”
Vague inquiries cause you to dance around the real issues and waste time. Instead, pose direct questions that call for concrete, revealing answers.