Are you asking these 3 Questions from your team?
As you go higher up in the organization, the visibility of the ground become hazier. It’s not surprising to see executives completely ignorant of the ground realities as they sit far higher on the pyramid. I read about this in a beautifully conveyed Management Tip from Harvard Business Review.
The executives being oblivious to the people, their work and expectations are the sure-shot remedy to failure. This is the most dangerous place to get disconnected.
In my whole career, I strongly felt and witnessed disconnect not only between executives and front-line employees but also between managers and their teams. The 3 most simple and amazingly probing questions are applicable equally to managers.
If you work with a team, you must understand the importance of connecting with your team members. It’s all about communicating, and communicating in right way and spirit.
The 3 questions as summed up in the management tip are the best way to judge the connectivity and understanding that you share with your team. This is the short, on-the-point way to know the pulse.
How can I help you?
Ask this question to uncover the difficulties and roadblocks which, otherwise, would’ve not reached to your ears. This is the strongest question which can evoke a sense of belongingness and care. The beauty about this question lies in its universality. It conveys professional approach with emotional connect.
As I wrote in many of my articles that people get out of bed in the morning and come to office to fulfil their own goals. You need to align your objectives to theirs. This question pleasantly arouse connect between their personal goals and your purpose. “How can I help you” shows that you care about your people in every way.
Help them, care about them and they will do wonders for you.
Why are we doing it this way?
Ask this question to learn and get feedback, not criticize. People love to be heard about their work. Put them at ease. Let them speak. You’ll get the feedback and they’ll feel engaged.
Listen to them and encourage them to explore ways to do the things in better manner. I remember my last manager asking lots of questions on the way I work. One of them was “Why are we doing it this way?” He was always successful in invoking the thought of better ways to do thing.
The things you don’t probe, you don’t improve. This question is an easy way to induce the mindset to challenge the status quo and try to change for the better.
Are we supporting you?
Looking at the things from the eyes of your team members is the remedy to facilitate and provide genuine support. The values you follow, the processes you direct, the way you work must support them in their work.
Ask them if they find your support helpful or hindrance in their work. Getting the honest feedback out is the key to improvement. This is the after check of the question “How can I help you?”
Grab a cup of coffee, pull a chair to the workstations, cubicles, and cabins of your team, have a hearty talk, let them open up and provide you with the answers you are groping for.
While writing this piece of article, I got amazed see that these 3 magic questions can be asked at vasrious platforms in your life.
Go through the questions again and think of asking them to your spouse, children, friends, and peers and many more people…
What a simple and an amazing way to develop camaraderie and bonding.