If you’re serious about leading, you should ask more questions

first_imgWhat would you work on if you had more time and why would that be valuable? Inquiring about where those you lead would invest more time helps people consider possibilities for the future that often get lost in the busy-ness of doing the work of today.Note that asking these questions is only the first step. It will only work if you listen to the responses and exercise the patience not to critique or correct too soon.The point is that shifting your perspective from being the problem solver to being the one seeking solutions is a powerful and important step in becoming a more effective leader. It won’t happen overnight, and the first few times you ask the answers you receive may not be as good as you would like, but that doesn’t mean you should stop asking.Make the commitment to weave these questions into your interactions with the people you lead and you’ll increase your leadership impact and develop the capacity of your team—two of the most essential responsibilities of any leader.Your Turn—What’s your favorite question to ask the people you lead or if you are among the led to have asked of you? Please take a moment and share your insight by posting a comment. What is the biggest obstacle you face and how can we eliminate it? Inviting your team members to openly share the things that are in the way of their producing more and better results reinforces your commitment to continuous improvement. What do you think you should stop doing (and why)? Soliciting ideas about things that the credit union should stop doing reveals a more strategic focus and an openness to change. What do you think we should do next? Inviting team members to share their ideas regarding next steps engages them at a different level and offers the chance to guide and coach their next step (instead of just dictating the desired action). What are you doing that you wouldn’t start doing if you weren’t already doing it? Focusing attention on what would not be started if it were not already underway conveys an interest in leveraging the knowledge, skills, and experience of the individual and helps you guide them to where they can do their best work.center_img What options do you think we should consider in this situation? Requesting options communicates that there is no one right answer and allows the responder to use their creativity and insight in defining possible paths to take. There’s an interesting disconnect that often emerges in my conversations with leaders and the people they lead.The leaders tend to talk about how their people don’t come to them with problems, don’t openly share ideas for improvement, and don’t always live up to expectations.The led often speak of not getting enough support, about their ideas being ignored, and about not knowing what is expected of them.While some might argue that these responses are inevitable and simply reflect the different nature of the positions held, it’s not an acceptable situation (especially the credit unions where they toil).Despite H. L. Menken’s famous warning that “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong,” let me offer a very single action step leaders can take to improve the situation: Ask more questions.Yes, it really is that simple.Asking more questions instantly changes the nature of the interaction between the leader and the people they lead because:It demonstrates that the leader values the input and respects the insight of the people they lead;It communicates that the leader recognizes they don’t have all of the answers; andIt reveals the shared responsibility of both parties to come up with the right answers for the organization.Here are 7 questions leaders can use on a regular basis in leading their teams—questions that will engage your people, develop their capacity, and increase your shared impact:What can I do to help you succeed? Asking this question positions you as someone who understands that their role is to help the people they lead succeed, and it provides a chance for you to hear how well those you lead understand the expectations of success that you have communicated. 20SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Michael Hudson Dr. Michael Hudson started his first business when he was just 7 years old…riding his bicycle from house to house selling greeting cards and holiday gifts. Since then he … Web: michaelhudson.com Detailslast_img

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